HITS Daily Double


Warner Music U.K. has hired visual programming expert Kate Shepherd in the newly created role of MD, Entertainment Programming.

The hire coincides with Chris Bovill and John Allison exiting after two years leading the label's in-house creative content and production studio, The Firepit, which now falls under Shepherd's purview.

Based in London, she will help lead Warner’s efforts to build out its slate of content, overseeing development of IP and documentary features, original series, branded content, and more, reporting to Peter Breeden, COO, Warner Music UK and Mel Fox, Chief Transformation Officer, Warner Music UK.

In addition to working closely with Warner Music’s U.K. artists and labels, Shepherd will collaborate closely with Warner Music Group’s growing global network of content experts. These include youth culture platform UPROXX, run by Benjamin Blank and Jarret Myer, as well as Charlie Cohen who was appointed President of TV & Film for WMG in 2017.

Discussing the new hire, Breeden said: “Artists and songs have amazing stories to tell and to inspire, and we’re bringing those stories to life through compelling, immersive visual experiences. We’re living in a visual culture, and Kate’s boundless enthusiasm, musical sensibility, and business savvy make her the perfect person to take our creative mission to the next level.”

Shepherd brings more than two decades of experience in developing, producing, and marketing award-winning short & long-form programming through roles with Ridley Scott Creative Group, where she was most recently Head of Entertainment, as well as Noah Media, and Sunshine Group in the U.K., and Fullscreen, Shine America, XIX Entertainment, and BBC Worldwide in the US.

Bovill and Allison have decided to leave the business to write scripted entertainment after developing a number of premium formats and IP for major global platforms, launching a performance music channel, creating branded content, and overseeing a number of features, including the forthcoming Liam Gallagher documentary, As It Was.

In announcing their departure from Warner, Bovill and Allison said: “When you spend time working with some of the world’s most creative artists you get inspired to be a bit rock & roll yourself. So, we’re leaving to pursue a lifelong goal. Having had the privilege of working in advertising, broadcast, branding, content, production, and now music and long form content, we can see that it really is a brave new world out there for creative people if you’re willing to get out of your lanes. So, we’re doing just that.”