Preview – Commissioner Conversations 2022

Posted on: Wednesday 25 May 2022 1:56am by Tiernan Douieb

You don’t really need me to explain the Commissioner Conversations panels at CMC do you? They’re clearly the only reason you’re attending, right? Well, that and the karaoke night obvs, because nothing will help your kids’ media pitch quite like showing everyone you only know the chorus of ‘Islands in the Stream’ yet will keep trying anyway.

These panels though are a must, as they’ll have the absolute top bods of the children’s broadcasting world telling you exactly what they’re looking for, for their platform, so you can immediately go create it. Then become the next Walt Disney or, er, Susan Netflix. That is the kind of insight you can only get by going to CMC. Or by hacking into the emails of children’s media commissioners. But to be honest the former is a much easier and less illegal way to do it.

This year the three panels are split into target age groups rather than types of company, and I will be hosting the Pre-school session (ages 0-6), asking five commissioners from public service broadcasters and ad funded channels what they think the next big thing is, how to pitch, and exactly what their preferred types of bribes are. Oh no, sorry. Not the last one. Forget I said that. At the time of writing this, I’ll definitely be throwing questions at Kate Morton – Head of Commissioning and Acquisitions at BBC Children’s for ages 0-6; Louise Bucknole – VP of Kid’s Programming at C5/Milkshake; Estelle Hughes from Sky Kids and Sean Henry, who is Head of Content Strategy at WarnerMedia.

The other Commissioners Conversations panels are Kids (ages 6-12) which is going to be hosted by former Director of BBC Children’s Joe Godwin, with panellists including Paul Mortimer at CITV, Sarah Muller at CBBC and Chris Rose at Nickelodeon/Paramount. Then the Teens panel has Harriet Williams, Fund Executive for the Young Audiences Content Fund chairing the chat with commissioners Karl Warner from C4, Evie Buckley at E4, Helen Foulkes at BBC and Sioned Geraint at S4C.

The focus this year is less about the panellists telling you about themselves, because that’s what sneaking around on LinkedIn is for, right? Instead, there’ll be more focus on the big questions. Like what types of show do they think work on their platform, what shouldn’t producers do and most importantly – if there’s any way at all they can make a pop-up that tells my daughter specifically no she can’t watch another episode because she really must get ready for nursery right now or her dad will have a breakdown.

There will of course be time for your questions too, so make sure you have good ones and none of those ‘this isn’t a question but more of a statement’ TED talks about how really the future of children’s broadcasting is a preschool version of Squid Game because toddlers in jump suits are hilarious. That’s not what everyone is there for and you know it. (Though it could be called Kid Game right, and they’d just eat those cookies instead of making shapes and it’d be very funny, so let’s talk after the panel as I’m definitely on board).

Come along to CMC from 5-7 July and find out the commissioners’ priorities, projects, pet peeves and preferred ways for you to bombard them with your bizarre pitches for Kid Game (copyright Tiernan Douieb 2022, ahem).

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Tiernan Douieb

About the author

Tiernan Douieb

Comedian and Writer

Tiernan is a comedian, writer and exhausted parent of a 4 year old who keeps asking him endless questions like if you can stroke bees or how socks are made. Most recently he has written for CBeebies/Studio AKA's 'Hey Duggee' and the Cosmic Kids Yoga channel among others, and at… Read more