10 Sep 2020
Zinc Media Group has announced the launch of a new label – Red Sauce – to fuel its growth in factual entertainment and popular factual. This new label will be led by award-winning programme-maker (Mary Queen of Shops, Wife Swap, Big Brother) and former BBC Commissioning Editor (Eat Well For Less, House That 100k Built, Hugh’s War On Waste) Tom Edwards as Creative Director, who was also diversity champion for BBC Factual. Edwards has not only series produced some of the UK’s biggest popular factual series, he has also commissioned for the highest-rating and most competitive factual slots on UK television and worked with some of the country’s biggest talent (Mary Berry, Mo Gilligan, Claudia Winkleman, Katy Price, Matt Baker, Mary Portas and many more).
Greg Sanderson, Director of Television, Zinc Media London, says: “The launch of Red Sauce allows us to present a fresh, new popular factual proposition to the TV market, backed by fantastic new talent. As one of the market leaders in factual, we already have a strong portfolio of popular factual programming, and are now ready to accelerate our move into factual entertainment. With this new single label, I want us to become a ‘go-to’ destination for popular factual and an emerging force in factual entertainment.
“Red Sauce is popular TV. As well as being distinctive and playful, it will make great TV for the broadest possible audiences, from digital-first, binge-factual to linear audiences. Alongside our other factual labels, this will bring all Zinc’s popular factual work from London and the Regions under one label, giving Zinc a single force behind factual entertainment in a way that hasn’t been possible before. We are currently reviewing which of our out-of-London production offices will house Red Sauce and will announce this later in the year.”
The label will also work with Zinc’s Branded Content Division (launched in June) to enable the company to bring innovative funding models to the table. Red Sauce will be led by award-winning programme-maker and former BBC Commissioning Editor Tom Edwards as Creative Director and be based in London and the Regions.
Greg Sanderson adds: “With 17 years in production and development for UK and US channels and platforms, and six years in the commissioning world, Tom’s track record speaks for itself. Not only has he series produced some of the UK’s biggest popular factual series, he has created new formats and ideas, worked with some of the country’s biggest talent, reinvigorated returning shows, and played a pivotal role in developing programming for some of TV’s most important factual slots. I can’t wait to get started working with him at the helm of this new label.”
Highly-respected programme maker Tom Edwards worked across a huge number of successful factual shows including, as Showrunner, The House That Made Me (Nutopia for Channel 4), Mary Queen of Shops (Optomen for BBC Two), The Undercover Princes (Objective North for BBC Three and BBC One) and Wife Swap (RDF for Channel 4).
He was then appointed as a Commissioning Editor in BBC Factual, covering popular factual and factual entertainment across BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Three. With a slate of over 270 hours to his credit, he commissioned for the highest-rating and most competitive factual slots on UK television. His back catalogue includes many high-profile shows such as: Eat Well for Less, Hugh’s War on Waste, DIY SOS, Nigel Slater’s Simple Cooking (all for BBC One); The House That 100k Built, Alex Polizzi: The Fixer, Rick Stein’s Long Weekends, Mary Berry’s Absolute Favourites (all for BBC Two); and Conspiracy Coach Trip, Premier League’s Most Amazing Moments, and Strictly Soulmates (all BBC Three). He also took the lead as diversity champion for BBC Factual, which included devising and launching the continuing and successful cross-broadcaster assistant commissioner scheme with the Creative Diversity Network.
Tom Edwards, Creative Director, Red Sauce, says: “I got into TV to make high quality, uncompromisingly popular factual shows. Throughout my career I’ve been relentless in pursuit of broad audiences, young through old, and relish the chance to be playful and inventive with form and content. Red Sauce will make tasty TV with wide appeal – smart, innovative and entertaining shows that speak to all, the kind of programming I love making. It’s a great opportunity to work alongside the other Zinc labels, and with their amazing team. I can’t wait to grow their business in the factual entertainment and popular factual space.
“It is incredibly exciting to have the opportunity to bring the very best talent to Red Sauce, to complement Zinc’s popular factual firepower across London and the Regions. The final out-of-London base for the label will be decided following a nationwide search for the best talent.”
Tom Edwards takes up his role immediately, with other members of his team to be announced in the coming weeks. Red Sauce will work with commissioners, collaborators and co-production partners both in the UK and internationally, across all types of broadcasters, streamers and content platforms. It will take forward recommissions of popular factual IP that resides in Reef and Blakeway North and extend into factual entertainment as new programmes get commissioned. It becomes the fifth label in Zinc’s reshaped portfolio alongside:
With offices in London, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Belfast, Manchester, Macclesfield and Bristol, Zinc Media Group produces content for UK and US broadcasters from its bases across the UK. The Group is also home to Zinc Communicate, a division producing TV and digital content for brands, businesses and partners. It includes Zinc’s new Branded Content Division, headed by Dominic de Terville, news of which was released in June.
The creation of this new popular factual label is part of the wider Zinc Media Group transformation plan announced by the CEO at the end of 2019.