Carlton sheds staff in new-media shake-up

LONDON - ITV partner Carlton has axed more than half of its Carlton Interactive new-media division, as it restructures to create a combined new-media unit with partner Granada.

ITV Interactive will handle the commercial broadcasters' online and interactive activities, including the sites on ITV Digital's interactive TV service, ITV Active.

Around 40 of Carlton Interactive's 77 staff are believed to have lost their jobs as a result of the restructuring. These include staff from the Jamba entertainment website and Popcorn film site.

While these sites remain open for the time being, they are likely to face closure if Carlton can not find a partner to share the burden of the costs.

Granada Broadband, the equivalent new-media division at Carlton's ITV partner Granada, is not expected to make any job cuts.

ITV Interactive is to be headed up by Peter Greensmith, who will become ITV director of interactivity. He is currently chief operating officer at Carlton Interactive.

Greensmith's first priority will be to launch, which will provide enhanced content and other information on ITV programmes. The site is set to go live in the autumn.

ITV chief executive Stuart Prebble said, "This is an important advance for ITV and the next step in the extension of the brand across all platforms. The ability to unlock the full potential of content across all digital media is key to the future of commercial broadcasting and this development will fuel ITV's continued evolution as a market-leading entertainment brand."

Claire Billings recommends

Carlton Communications

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