MTV Networks’ kids channel Nickelodeon is gearing up for the launch of its new U.K. service later this year with the appointment of Brit producer James Baker as director of programs.Baker joins U.K. Nickelodeon next week, teaming with new marketing director Heidi Diamond, formerly with Nickelodeon in the United States. These two appointments, along with the identity of the channel’s chief executive, will be announced officially Monday. U.K. Nickelodeon is a 50/50 joint venture between Viacom and British Sky Broadcasting, and will form part of a mini-pay package of seven channels on the Astra satellite. The other members of the group will be BSkyB’s Sky One and Sky News, the Family Channel, Discovery Europe, Bravo and the Children’s Channel. The 29-year-old Baker has spent his entire TV career in morning television, mainly with ITV’s early morning service TV-am, where he did stints in various jobs including editor of children’s programs and host of a kids show. He will be responsible for adapting Nickelodeon’s distinctive style to suit the tastes of British viewers brought up on a much more restrained approach to children’s programming by U.K. broadcasters.
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