• University of Huddersfield Queensgate Huddersfield HD1 3DH

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

  • 229 Citations
  • 7 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile


I joined the University of Huddersfield in January 2019, having previously worked in the Department of Culture, Film and Media at the University of Nottingham, and the Department of Media Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London.

I am strongly committed to working with industry and have a long track record of working closely with industry partners. Promotional Screen Industries stemmed from a 12-month collaboration with Red Bee Media, funded by the AHRC. I have worked with Ofcom on an ESRC Impact Accellerator Impact Leaders project and an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award undertaking longitudinal research into people's media use and attitudes. I have also partnered with the BBC, BFI, BCMA and BUFVC, which has included undertaking consultation work. I have also worked closely with local SMEs in Nottingham, helping small businesses to develop spreadable content marketing strategies that reflect today's changing media landscape.

I am also committed to interdisciplinary research and partnered with colleagues in Health Sciences and Midwifery at the University of Nottingham on a Wellcome funded project on the televising of childbirth. We are now developing this into a larger funding bid that will consider the role of social media and how television might interact with other sources of information (and entertainment) in shaping people's expectations and experiences of childbirth.

I am regularly invited to speak in the UK and overseas (e.g. Sao Paolo, Brazil, 2018, Aarhus, Denmark, 2017, Bologna, Italy, 2014) and am the Chair of the Media Industries section of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA). I am also a member of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and am on the editorial board of Cinema Journal, Journal of Popular Television, and VIEW: European Journal of Television History and Culture.

I have taught undergradaute and masters modules on the media and cultural industries, screen marketing and promotion, television and television history, and media studies. 

I have successfully supervised 8 PhD students to completion on subjects that range from the transatlantic circulation of contemporary television, the work of media agencies, transmedia TV, the relationship betwen theatre and television, and the history of the television set in the UK. I am keen to supervise students on any aspect of the contemporary screen and/or media industries, streaming media, contemporary and historical television, screen marketing, branding and promotional culture.

Over my career I have undertaken a range of leadership roles, including Director of Teaching, Director of Postgraduate Sudies, Director of Research, and Impact Officer. I also participated in the University of Nottingham's Research Leader and Impact Leader programmes.

Research Expertise and Interests

My research expertise lies in television, media industries and marketing/promotional culture, with a specific focus on screen media (TV, internet, film). My research is particularly interested in how the screen industries respond to change. My new book, Online TV (Routledge, 2019), examines the convergence of television and the internet, arguing that we are entering a new 'internet era' that is changing how we understand television as a medium. Through the process of defining online TV, the book identifies four core 'battlefields' where the industrial struggle for online TV is taking place: technology, intellectual property, interfaces, and data. It argues that these battlefields should be on the top of the agenda for academics, policy-makers and regulators.

This work builds on my previous research into the changing nature of promotional screen culture (Promotional Screen Industries, Routledge 2015, written with Paul Grainge) and into the adoption of branding by the US and UK television industries (Branding Television, Routledge 2012), as well as on previous research into the US and UK television industries. This included co-editing the first academic book on the history of ITV (ITV Cultures, Open UP 2005, edited with Rob Turnock) and examining the industrial contexts within which innovation in television production has taken place (Telefantasy, BFI 2005).

External positions

Chair of Media Industries Section, European Communication Research and Education Association

Nov 2018 → …

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Internet television
  • Screen marketing
  • Promotional Culture
  • Online television
  • Television history
  • Media industries
  • Television studies
  • Digital television
  • Branding
  • public service media
  • media policy

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Research Output

Routes to Content: How people decide what TV to watch

Johnson, C., Dempsey, L. & Hills, M., 31 Jan 2020, University of Huddersfield. 17 p.

Research output: Book/ReportOther report

Open Access
  • Open Access
  • Online TV

    Johnson, C., 15 Mar 2019, 1st ed. London: Routledge. 188 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

  • 7 Citations (Scopus)

    Quantitative insights into televised birth: a content analysis of One Born Every Minute

    De Benedictus, S., Johnson, C., Roberts, J. & Spiby, H., 1 Jan 2019, In : Critical Studies in Media Communication. 36, 1, p. 1-17 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 4 Citations (Scopus)

    From catch-up TV to online TV: digital broadcasting and the case of BBC iPlayer

    Grainge, P. & Johnson, C., 15 Mar 2018, In : Screen. 59, 1, p. 21-40 20 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Online TV: Interrogating Television in the Internet Era

    Catherine Johnson (Speaker)

    8 May 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference

    Catherine Johnson (Chair)

    15 Mar 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipating in a conference, workshop, ...

    Online TV: Interrogating Television in the Internet Era

    Catherine Johnson (Speaker)

    27 Feb 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    Video on Demand and the Challenges of the Production, Distribution and Reception of Online Television

    Catherine Johnson (Keynote speaker)

    29 Aug 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    European Communication Research and Education Association (External organisation)

    Catherine Johnson (Chair)

    2018 → …

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of a Society or Institute

    Press / Media

    Unravelling the tangled web of online television

    Catherine Johnson


    3 items of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Research