Hannah Prasad

This month Sydney Observer spoke exclusively to Jade Hodge, the Channel Manager for the New Zealand Territory for BBC Studios. She gave us an insight into her industry, what a typical day consists of, and how individuals looking to pursue a career in media can get a foot in the door. “I started at BBC Studios four years ago as a Programming Assistant which involved ensuring all shows were delivered to the broadcaster ready to air and maintaining the EPG (Electronic Programming Guide). I then moved onto becoming an Acquisitions Executive where I acquired programmes for all BBC Studios channels in Australia and New Zealand. After that, I moved on to become the BBC Knowledge Programmer on Foxtel and later I Programmed BBC First on Foxtel. I started as the Channel Manager for NZ in January 2018.”

The one and only, Jade Hodge.

“When I entered full-time work I started as a Sales Assistant at a Free to Air network. It was an intense and high-pressure workplace but I learned a lot about the importance of resilience in the workforce. While in this job I realised I had a real passion for storytelling through television and took steps to move towards the programming industry. I started by moving into a promos coordinator role and later I moved to BBC Studios and became a Programming Assistant.”

“A typical day involves viewing newly made content and reading scripts which are available to purchase for our channels. When we’re viewing the programmes we keep our audiences front of mind and consider if they would enjoy it.” “If we decide to purchase it we then choose the best place to premiere the programme based on a series of ratings analysis and programme availability. Once we know where and when we will premiere the new shows, we look at the television schedule like a puzzle and fill 24 hours of television based on what audiences like to watch and when.”

Jade Hodge’s company logo – BBC Studios.

Jade shares the most rewarding part of her job as well as aspects that can be challenging at times. “The best part of my job is when I find a programme for the channels and audience that I really believe in and love. It can be really rewarding when it premieres and the ratings and feedback from viewers is positive. A lot of effort goes into programmes once we buy them so if the viewers love the show too, it’s a really great moment for us.”

“The most challenging part can be that programmes sometimes have to move in the schedule or a show will be cancelled and the viewers write to us complaining. It’s challenging because we are sometimes unable to provide each individual viewer with what they want, despite how much we would like to. We do read every email, letter and social post we receive and try to respond personally to them all. We normally share the same sentiment we receive from the viewers!”