Alice Webb, the current chief operating officer of BBC England, has been appointed BBC Children’s director. In the new role Webb will be responsible for CBeebies and CBBC, at the Salford-based department. She takes over from Joe Godwin who this month took charge of the BBC Academy.
“BBC Children’s makes the best content for children in the world, and it’s a real privilege to be asked to lead such an important part of the BBC, particularly in these fast moving, digital times,” commented Webb. “I’m thrilled to be heading up such an amazing team, and playing my part in engaging our young, diverse audiences right across the country. This is my dream job and I can’t wait to get started.”
Webb joined the BBC a decade ago from PA Consulting Group. In her first BBC role with in-house TV producers Vision Productions, she played a central role in reshaping how the programme-making operation went about its business. In 2011 she became COO, BBC North, and led the move of key BBC departments including Sport, BBC Children’s, 5 live and BBC Learning, to the North West before taking on a wider remit across England in May 2014.
Recently, Webb has led a comprehensive review of BBC training which will see the BBC Academy move to a new base in Birmingham later this year; she also oversees the BBC’s end-to-end production capability; and she devised a digital season in Salford for more than 1,000 staff which is now being rolled out across the corporation.
Peter Salmon, director of BBC England, added: “Alice is a rising industry star who has helped make the BBC and MediaCityUK the fastest growing digital hub in Europe and she brings the same energy, focus and conviction to one of the most crucial jobs in the sector. Having worked alongside Alice, first building BBC North and then helping the likes of BBC Children’s thrive here, I have no doubt she will lead their talented and passionate teams brilliantly through the huge audience and technology challenges ahead.”
The BBC invests heavily in British-made content, and its top children’s shows include BAFTA-winning Katie Morag; The Dumping Ground; Wolfblood; Blue Peter; Newsround; and Horrible Histories. Based in Salford since 2011, BBC Children’s commissions programmes from independent producers and in-house departments.