Bellamy tapped for Ch. 4 post

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Channel 4 chief executive Andy Duncan said Monday that he has wooed BBC3 head Julian Bellamy to be head of flagship terrestrial Channel 4.

The move will see director of television Kevin Lygo relinquish day-to-day control of Channel 4 in favor of the newly created post of director of television and content, it was announced Monday.

In his new role, Lygo will oversee the broadcaster's portfolio of television channels, which also includes E4, More4 and Film4. He will be responsible for cross-platform commissioning areas such as acquisitions, education and film.

He also will oversee scheduling across the broadcaster, in conjunction with each network's controller, and become more involved with Channel 4's new digital radio ventures.

Bellamy, who will return to Channel 4 at a date not yet determined, is still negotiating his terms of exit with BBC3.

As head of Channel 4, reporting to Lygo, he will have commissioning responsibility for programming on the core Channel 4 service and day-to-day responsibility for genres including comedy and entertainment, daytime, documentaries, drama, features, factual entertainment, history, science, religion and news and current affairs.

E4 head Danny Cohen and More4 head Peter Dale will continue to report to Lygo.

"Kevin has done an outstanding job in the last few years, with our channels outperforming their competitors both critically and in ratings terms," Duncan said in a statement, adding that the change will give Lygo "a strategic overview of our network schedules while inspiring innovative Channel 4 content on all platforms."

"Channel 4 is now commissioning and distributing content across a broad array of digital platforms, and our commissioning structure is evolving to ensure all our networks and services support our core editorial values of innovation, diversity and distinctiveness," Duncan added.

Lygo said Bellamy, a former Channel 4 head of current affairs, will take Channel 4 to the next level.

"Julian made his name at Channel 4 and, while it's always flattering to see your executives hired by other broadcasters, it's much more satisfactory to return them to the fold," Lygo said.

"Julian and I have previously enjoyed a close working relationship and I know we can combine again to strengthen and renew Channel 4's schedule," he added.
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