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Turner exec to lead BBC kids’ output

The BBC has appointed Turner’s Patricia Hidalgo to lead its children’s and education output, replacing Alice Webb.

Patricia Hidalgo

Hidalgo is currently senior VP and chief content and creative officer at Turner EMEA and International Kids and is a well-established figure in the children’s media industry.

She has been named as UK pubcaster the BBC’s new director of children’s and education, replacing Webb, who is leaving to become CEO at Universal-owned Eagle Rock Entertainment.

Taking up her new role in September, Hidalgo will be responsible for developing and implementing creative and editorial strategy for BBC Children’s services across all platforms.

Hidalgo will also head up the pubcaster’s kids’ networks CBeebies and CBBC, and will lead its education department. She will oversee all the division’s content output including in-house productions, coproductions and acquisitions, reporting to James Purnell, director of BBC Radio and Education.

In her six years at Turner, Hidalgo has been responsible for the production of multi-award-winning series The Amazing World of Gumball and The Heroic Adventures of the Valiant Prince Ivandoe.

Webb had been due to leave the BBC at the end of March, but extended her tenure as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. She spent five years running BBC Children’s, which includes the CBBC and CBeebies channels.

During that time, Webb oversaw a radical restructure at the department that saw the channel controller roles dropped in favour of a head of content position, which is held by Cheryl Taylor.

Before joining BBC Children’s in 2015, Webb was chief operating officer of the BBC’s Northern England operations between 2011 and 2014, orchestrating the move of key BBC departments, including BBC Children’s, from London to Salford.

Purnell said: “Patricia has built a hugely successful career in kids’ TV with a track record that speaks for itself. Engaging our audience and staying relevant has never been more important, and I have no doubt that Patricia will bring her experience and passion to expertly lead the teams in Children’s and Education through their next chapter.”

Hidalgo added: “l am really excited to be joining an organisation as forward-thinking and respected worldwide as the BBC, and am honoured to be given the great responsibility of leading the Children’s and Education teams in their efforts to engage, entertain and educate young people across the UK.”

Prior to joining Turner, Hidalgo spent 15 years at Disney, where she held a number of senior roles in Spain, Italy and the UK.

Sophy Jacob, head of business, is interim director of BBC Children’s and Education until Hidalgo takes up her new role.

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