Top BBC executive Mark Thompson is set to head the U.K.’s Channel 4. Thompson, current BBC director of television, will take the chief executive post in March 2002. Thompson, who has spent his entire career at the BBC, succeeds Michael Jackson, who left C4 to head USA Entertainment.
Richard Ryder, a member of the House of Lords and a Conservative politician, has been named vice chairman of the BBC. Ryder, who was political secretary to Margaret Thatcher between 1975 and 1981, will assume the post for four years starting in January 2002. Meanwhile, Roly Keating, the Beeb’s controller of arts commissioning and digital channels, has been named the first controller of BBC4, the new BBC arts channel set to launch in March. Keating will take the post in January and will act as genre commissioner for Arts until new arrangements have been made. Franny Moyle, creative director for arts (factual and learning), will deputise for Keating on arts factual, while Peter Maniura, head of classical music and performance (radio and music), will continue with his responsibilities for the performance slate. For the independent sector, the main point of contact will continue to be commissioning exec Roger Thompson.
Mark Irwin has been named VP of operations for Discovery.com. Irwin was previously VP of operations for Discoveryhealth.com, which he joined in 1999.
Lynda A. Hansen and Linda Blackaby, co-directors of programming for the Hamptons International Film Festival, are leaving the festival after three years. Hansen will continue consulting through her company, Lynda A. Hansen & Associates, and was recently involved in the sale of Sandi Dubowski‘s Trembling Before G-d to New Yorker Films. Blackaby will become a director of programming at the San Francisco International Film Festival.
Vicky Miller was named executive VP and chief financial officer for Turner Broadcasting System. Miller replaces Wayne Pace, who left to become chief financial officer for TBS’s parent AOL Time Warner.
Some shake-ups at the Corus Entertainment-owned Women’s Television Network in Canada: Wendy Herman, formerly VP of marketing at Canadian DTH service Star Choice, becomes VP/general manager; 10-year programming veteran Karen Gifford becomes director of programming; and Shelley Gillen, from Corus TV’s Vancouver office, will help with program development at the network.