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Benbow out as BBC rejigs kids’ arm

The BBC is dropping its children’s channel controller roles, resulting in the departure of CBeebies boss Kay Benbow and a new job for CBBC controller Cheryl Taylor.

Alice Webb

Alice Webb, director of BBC Children’s, revealed the changes to the department in a note to staff.

Webb has created various new positions in the department whilst doing away with roles overseeing CBeebies and CBBC, as well as head of CBeebies Production.

Taylor will become head of content, a role that will see her take responsiblity for BBC Children’s content strategy and commissioning for under-16s.

Meanwhile, Helen Bullough, previously head of production at CBBC, has had her role expanded to include responsibility for CBeebies.

Benbow, who held the position of interim director of BBC Children’s prior to Webb’s appointment, will leave the BBC at the end of the year, having first joined the pubcaster in 1988 before leaving and re-joining in 2006.

Kay Benbow

Alison Stewart, head of CBeebies Production, will leave the BBC next year after 11 years, together with controller of business Jackie Myburgh.

Meanwhile, the job of head of interactive, currently held by Claire Stocks, will be subsumed into the new role covering presentation, scheduling, iPlayer, core interactive and events, which has yet to be filled. The news was first reported by Broadcast.

The changes come after Webb said this month that the UK pubcaster has some “difficult choices” to make as it continues to adapt to children’s changing viewing habits.

BBC director general Tony Hall announced an additional £34m (US$44m) in funding for BBC Children’s over the next three years to allow it to push further into content designed specifically for online.

Webb said today: “We’re hugely proud of the content and services that we already offer children in the UK but we know that their needs and demands are constantly changing.

“As we move to a more personalised, platform approach – something of the utmost importance for the whole of the BBC – we need a staff structure that can deliver this change.

“The departure of such significant leaders is clearly a watershed moment for BBC Children’s and I am truly indebted to each of them for the superb work they have brought to the department over the years.”


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