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27/11/2001

4 VENTURES FORMS NEW DIGITAL SERVICES GROUP

CHANNEL 4 are putting their pay-TV and interactive businesses into a newly created Digital Services group as the result of a restructuring of the channel's commercial holding company, 4 Ventures.
The new Digital Services group will bring together Channel 4 Interactive, housing Channel 4's websites including Channel4.com and FilmFour.com as well as their interactive TV activities, and Channel 4's pay-TV channels, E4 and FilmFour.
Gerry Bastable, formerly Managing Director of Pay TV, will head the new multi-platform division as Managing Director, Digital Services. Mark Brandon will head up the interactive division of the new group. The pay division has been split into two operating units with the E4 channel headed by Dan Brooke and the FilmFour channels headed by Tom Sykes.
Bastable said: "This move will allow us to speak with one voice to the digital platform owners with whom these businesses mainly deal, enabling closer co-ordination of key cross-platform projects and pushing a closer working relationship between the different creative teams."
Reflecting their growth to become one of the UK's most popular entertainment websites, Brandon plans to organise all the online activities around its most successful online brand, Channel 4.com, which regularly features in the UK's top three entertainment sites. Channel 4's other sites, including E4.com and FilmFour.com will be consolidated into the single Channel 4 super-site to be relaunched next year.
Andy Anson, who is currently Managing Director of Channel 4 Interactive, will be leaving the channel at the end of the year to set up his own media-focused consulting business.
Anson said: "I am extremely proud of what has been achieved in my time at Channel 4. Starting from scratch, with modest resources, we have established Channel 4 as a leading online destination and have demonstrated the significant growth potential in interactive TV and other areas. Having brought the business to this stage in its development I now feel it is time to move on."
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