U.K.'s Channel 4 to double spending on arts

Names Tabitha Jackson commissioning editor, arts

LONDON -- U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 is to double its core channel budget for arts coverage to £6 million ($9 million) and has elevated More4 editor Tabitha Jackson to the lofty position of commissioning editor, arts.

The broadcaster has also created an arts board, to be chaired by director of television and content Kevin Lygo.

Jackson replaces Jan Younghusband, who exited to join the BBC last year and will report to Channel 4 head of specialist factual Ralph Lee.

The appointment and re-allocation of funding signals the broadcaster's brave new world following its decision not to renew rights to reality show "Big Brother".

Lygo said: "The arts remain a litmus test for any free-to-air public service broadcaster; with the last vestiges disappearing elsewhere within mainstream commercial TV we believe this is the opportune moment to demonstrate the breadth and ambition of Channel 4's ongoing commitment to the arts."

More4 has a partnership with Arts Council of England, to look at the two working with artists and arts institutions on programming.

Channel 4's recent cancellation of youth-friendly flagship show "Big Brother" and the dropping of "Friends" from its schedule amid a strategic refocusing on original fare is all part of the changing face of Channel 4.