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Alice Webb Named BBC Children’s Head

Current Chief Operating Officer will be responsible for the U.K.'s two most popular networks for young audiences, CBeebies and CBBC.

Alice Webb, currently Chief Operating Officer BBC England -- and the woman behind the BBC’s biggest move outside London to its state-of-the-art Salford base -- has been appointed as the new Director, BBC Children's.

Taking up her new role at the end of February, Webb will be responsible for the U.K.'s two most popular networks for young audiences, CBeebies and CBBC, reporting to Peter Salmon, Director BBC England.

“Alice is a rising industry star who has helped make the BBC and MediaCityUK the fastest growing digital hub in Europe and she brings the same energy, focus and conviction to one of the most crucial jobs in the sector,” Salmon said of the appointment. “Having worked alongside Alice, first building BBC North and then helping the likes of BBC Children's thrive here, I have no doubt she will lead their talented and passionate teams brilliantly through the huge audience and technology challenges ahead.”

“BBC Children’s makes the best content for children in the world, and it's a real privilege to be asked to lead such an important part of the BBC, particularly in these fast moving, digital times,” Webb commented. “I’m thrilled to be heading up such an amazing team, and playing my part in engaging our young, diverse audiences right across the country. This is my dream job and I can't wait to get started.”

The BBC is the leading public service broadcaster for children in the world and is also the biggest investor in British-made content. Among its top shows are the BAFTA-winning Katie Morag; The Dumping Ground; Justin's House; Wolfblood; Blue Peter; Newsround; Mr Bloom's Nursery; The Furchester Hotel; and Horrible Histories. Based in Salford since 2011, BBC Children's commissions programs from independent producers and in-house departments. There is also a strong Children's base at BBC Scotland in Glasgow.

Webb joined the BBC a decade ago from PA Consulting Group where she worked with organizations including Orange, The Cabinet Office, Reuters and Deutsche Bank. In her first BBC role with Vision Productions (in-house television producers making everything from Strictly Come Dancing to EastEnders), Alice played a central role in reshaping how the world's biggest program-making operation went about its business.

She moved to the North West in 2011 to become Chief Operating Officer, BBC North, orchestrating the successful move of key BBC departments including Sport, BBC Children's, 5 live and BBC Learning, before taking on a wider remit across England in May 2014. Recently, Alice has led a comprehensive review of BBC training which will see the BBC Academy move to a new base in Birmingham later this year; she also oversees the BBC's end-to-end production capability; and she devised a digital season in Salford for more than 1,000 staff which is now being rolled out across the corporation.

Webb succeeds Joe Godwin who is the new Director of the BBC Academy and BBC Birmingham.

Source: BBC England

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.