The Office BBC commissioner coming to SPAA

27 September, 2010 by IF

Press release from SPAA

The Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) confirmed today that Jane Root will speak at this year’s annual Conference which runs from 16 to 19 November at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney.


Root, who will be a Television Keynote Speaker, is one of the most respected creative executives in the broadcast industry that has transformed major networks on both sides of the Atlantic.

Jane has built a reputation for innovation, determination and delivery in both television and digital. She is the CEO of UK based Nutopia, an independent TV production company with a focus on factual series of all types, as well as factually inspired drama. She is responsible for the US hit 12-hour drama-documentary, America: The Story of Us, which premiered in April on the History Channel.

Jane scored a coup when she persuaded Barack Obama to deliver a presidential introduction to the history series.

Root worked as a journalist before moving into television production at which time she worked on a range of projects for Channel 4.

In 1987, she co-founded and was Joint Managing Director of the independent production company, Wall to Wall. In 1997, she became the head of the BBC’s Independent Commissioning Group, a new department tasked with finding 25% of the BBC’s output from the independent production sector.

The group was responsible for hits like Jamie Oliver’s, The Naked Chef. In 1999, she became Controller for BBC2, running the UK’s 3rd largest network. The first woman controller of a BBC television channel, she was responsible for commissioning the original British series of The Office as well as The Weakest Link, Top Gear, What Not to Wear, and Who Do You Think You Are? Jane left her position in 2004 and moved to the US to join the Discovery Networks where she ran a portfolio of channels that included the Discovery Channel and Science Channel, to name just a few.

Delegates will hear some personal insights from one of the world’s leading female executive programme-makers. She champions the notion that big ideas provide a genuine global exchange of formats and ideas. But with those big astounding ideas in short supply the challenge ahead is for
programme-makers to take on huge territories and create new hybrids.

This year’s conference venue at Sydney’s Hilton will provide delegates with lots of space for all their networking requirements under the one roof. The program will focus on four key strands to include 360, Feature, TV and Kids with a strong emphasis on the development of strategic partnerships.

Delegates can expect to hear from leading producers, distributors and platform owners from the converging worlds of movies, TV and advertising as business models continue to be reworked and developed in the ever-changing media landscape.
SPAA Conference, 16 – 19 November 2010, The Hilton, Sydney.