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BBC kids boss Webb to exit

Alice Webb, director of the BBC’s children’s and education departments, is leaving the UK pubcaster to lead a prodco owned by Universal Music in the UK.

Alice Webb

Webb, who was appointed to a new role that combined its departments focusing on children and learning earlier this year, has taken the role of chief executive at Universal-owned Eagle Rock Entertainment, C21 can confirm.

The exec will remain with the department for the next few months as the search for her replacement gets underway, having spent the past five years running the BBC’s children’s department, which includes channels CBBC and CBeebies.

During that time, Webb oversaw a radical restructure at the department that saw the channel control roles dropped in favour of a head of content role, 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.

Prior to the BBC, Webb was at PA Consulting Group for five years where she worked with organisations including Orange, The Cabinet Office, Reuters and Deutsche Bank. Webb’s first career was as a chartered civil engineer.

London-based producer and distributor Eagle Rock Entertainment has been behind music documentaries about the late soul singer Amy Winehouse and has worked alongside a variety of artists including the Rolling Stones, Jay Z, Frank Sinatra, Madonna, James Brown and Radiohead.

The company is headquartered in London, with offices in New York and LA, and is part of Universal Music Group.

Webb said in an email to her team today: “We have pushed ourselves arguably harder and faster than anywhere else in the BBC to keep up with young audiences changing tastes and habits. We won the argument for more funding, we launched new products just for children, we made shows for teens, we set up our very own festival, we branched out into cinema and so much more.

“But most of all we made the most outstanding shows, that properly reflected the lives of our audience and that touched the lives of so many children across the country. The results of your passion and expertise speak for themselves – our programmes are regularly the most watched on iPlayer and our channels are still the most watched kids channels in the UK – given the intense competition we face, that’s a remarkable achievement. It has been one of my proudest achievements to lead BBC Children’s over the last five years and I pay tribute to you all.”

News of Webb’s departure was first reported by Broadcast.

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