Concern rises over webs commitment to genre

LONDON — The controller of children’s programming at U.K. commercial web ITV has resigned after three years on the job, prompting further concerns about the net’s commitment to the genre.

Estelle Hughes, who oversees the commissioning of children’s programming for both ITV1 and the CiTV digital channel, will leave at the end of the month to move back into production.

Her departure comes at a time when ITV is calling on media regulator Ofcom to cut its commitment to children’s programming on flagship channel ITV1 from eight hours a week to as little as two. The move has prompted widespread concern among children’s producers, who have formed a new lobbying group to oppose the cuts, and independent producers’ association Pact has also written to Ofcom on the matter.

ITV has already confirmed plans to sell off Granada Kids, its inhouse children’s production unit.

Hughes’ commissioning responsibilities for ITV1 will be assumed by the daytime controller, Alison Sharman, while Steven Andrew, program director for ITV’s digital channels, will look after CiTV.

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