Cassidy ankles Channel 4

LONDON — Channel 4’s highly regarded senior commissioning editor for comedy and entertainment, Seamus Cassidy, has left the terrestrial TV net just days after the arrival July 1 of its new chief exec, Michael Jackson.

Cassidy was responsible for commissioning such successful and innovative C4 programs as the sitcom “Father Ted” and youth-oriented variety show “TFI Friday.” He was with C4 for 13 years, and will now join indie TV production company Planet 24 — a supplier to C4 — as senior producer.

Cassidy has stated that his departure is not connected to Jackson’s replacement of the departed Michael Grade, the former C4 topper, but more C4 execs are expected to leave shortly, notably director of programs John Willis.

Willis was one of the leading candidates to succeed Grade before Jackson won the position in May and quit his job as BBC1 controller and director of television. Jackson and Willis have previously criticized each other’s styles and are said to be incompatible professionally.

Meanwhile, at the BBC, director of television Alan Yentob — once also a C4 chief exec contender — is currently interviewing candidates for BBC1 controller with a view to filling the post by the end of the month.

There are believed to be nine internal candidates, including perceived front-runner Jane Root, BBC Broadcast’s head of independent commissioning.

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