LONDON: The Disney Channel’s head of programming and acquisitions in the U.K., John Keeling, has left for ‘personal reasons,’ according to a spokesperson for the channel.
His departure coincides with new figures from ratings panel Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB), which show that the channel had experienced a 30 percent drop in viewing in December 1997 compared to December 1996. However, Disney stresses that this had nothing to do with Keeling’s ‘perfectly amicable’ departure.
Keeling has been with the channel since before it launched in 1995, and leaves his mark with a high-profile new-year schedule that includes the live-action TV spin-off of the film Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and the Men in Black animated series. According to Disney’s spokesperson, the company is gearing up to promote the channel heavily through a new marketing campaign set to start this year.
Keeling’s post is yet to be filled, though there are plans to appoint a new director of programs. In the interim, managing director Tom Wszalek and acquisitions manager Estelle Hughes are taking over his responsibilities.