4 Ventures topper quits

Woodward's departure prompts rethink

LONDON — Channel 4, in the throes of a public debate about how it can remain financially viable while maintaining a public service remit, will restructure its commercial arm 4 Ventures after helmer Rob Woodward leaves in January.

Woodward will be the second person to ankle C4 since CEO Andy Duncan took over last summer. Veteran David Scott, deputy CEO, is also leaving next year.

Ex-merchant banker Woodward was one of the key drivers of the outfit’s more entrepreneurial approach pioneered under former chief executive Michael Jackson. He helped to set up 4 Ventures, which oversaw pay webs E4 and Film Four, distribution, online and interactive activities.

Duncan will lead a review of 4 Ventures, which may be broken up as its constituent parts become more closely aligned with the main channel.

Duncan, far from cutting back on the station’s commercial initiatives, believes that offering higher quality services can generate greater profits.

He has already delayed the launch of digital web, More 4, because he thinks it should include more original programming than first planned.

Duncan is also deciding if a new broadband-delivered documentary web should be free or pay.

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