Are the Kids Alright? The Future of Children's TV

Are the Kids Alright? The Future of Children's TV

Are the Kids Alright?
Wednesday, 22 January, 2020
6:30 for 7:00pm


Hogg Lecture Theatre
United Kingdom
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Centre Event

As we move into a new decade, it’s a good time to think about our future audiences and how we can serve them now and in the years to come. 

Are our children finding content they want to watch, through television, streaming services or on-demand channels? Are they finding and consuming content we think they ought to watch, from a public service perspective? Content that surprises or enriches them, and leads them safely and appropriately along the path to adulthood?

The TV industry needs to respond to the decline in traditional viewing and rise of social media for younger age groups with new content, service and funding models; and to work cross-platform and internationally. In the UK, the government has helpfully set up a £57m Young Adults Content Fund to stimulate production. How can we make sure that the kids, the industry and society engage positively with the opportunities and challenges ahead?

RTS London is partnering with The Children's Media Foundation to deliver this inspirational event, featuring panellists from new platforms, broadcasters and production houses.

Host: Greg Childs, Director, The Children's Media Foundation
Alice Webb, Director of BBC's Childrens, leading the BBC's services for UK children
Emma Scott, CEO of Beano Studios, up-dating the brand as a diverse digital business
Jon Gisby, MD of Wildbrain Spark, the digital kids' network and studio in London
Richard Bradley, MD of Lion TV, the successful independent production house 

Producers: Nikki Stearman, CMF/Dubit,, and Carol Owens, RTS.


Host: Greg Childs, Director CMF
Greg worked for over 25 years at the BBC, mainly as a director, producer and executive producer of children’s programmes. He created the first Children’s BBC websites and, as Head of Children’s Digital, developed and launched the children’s channels, CBBC and CBeebies. Greg left the BBC in 2004 and went on to advise producers and broadcasters on all aspects of digital, interactive and cross platform innovation for children. Subsequently, Greg was in the launch teams for Teachers TV and the CITV Channel in the UK; was advisor to the Al Jazeera Children’s Channel and consulted with the EBU. As Editorial Director of the Children’s Media Conference, Greg has grown this annual event into a gathering of 1,200+ delegates. He is also an Associate of the German Akademie fur Kindermedien, having spent 15 years as one of its Heads of Studies.

Alice Webb, Director BBC Childrens
Director of BBC Children’s since February 2015, Alice took over the BBC’s Education portfolio in May 2019. Alice is responsible for the UK’s two most popular networks for our youngest audiences, CBeebies and CBBC, along with their associated websites, YouTube channels, apps and radio stations. In 2016, she launched the BBC’s Big Digital Plan for Children, outlining how the corporation will keep pace with the rapidly changing way in which children consume content. This was followed by the launch of a dedicated children’s iPlayer app in 2016 and the largest new investment in content for children for a generation in 2017 – £34m over three years. In May 2019 she took charge of BBC Education, creating a new division and bringing together the BBC’s offer for children and young audiences.

Emma Scott, CEO Beano Studios
Emma Scott, Chief Executive of Beano Studios, is on a mission to make the world ‘Think More Kid’.
Emma set up Beano Studios with insight and data at the heart of the business and with bold, ambitious creativity in its bloodstream.  She has powered Beano’s transformation – from an 80-year-old comic to an award-winning multi-platform content studio with global reach.
Emma has inspired and driven the conception and growth of ground-breaking content and digital transformations throughout her career.  From her previous role as Chief of Staff for the BBC Director-General to launching Freeview, the UK’s first free digital TV platform.  She went on to spearhead the creation and development of market-leading Freesat, the UK’s satellite and streaming service, a joint venture between the BBC and ITV.

Jon Gisby, Managing Director, WildBrain Spark 
Jon Gisby, managing director, WildBrain Spark, has spent twenty years leading, building and advising major companies that create and distribute premium digital content. He was one of the many architects of the BBC’s strategy for online and on-demand services. As managing director of Freeserve, he built and monetized one of the UK’s largest online audiences via a portfolio of hundreds of partnerships in media, technology and ecommerce. He became managing director of Yahoo! UK and later ran their media and communications products across Europe. As a director at Channel 4, he transformed the broadcaster’s digital services and culture by building 4oD into the UK’s leading VOD business. He has subsequently helped launch several OTT video ventures including Rightster in the UK and Magine TV in Sweden and Germany. He was head of europe at Vevo, the joint venture between Sony Music and Universal Music Group which delivers 25 billion video views a month via OTT services and major partnerships. He also chairs the British Screen Advisory Council (BSAC), the UK’s leading forum for senior commercial and policy executives in TV, Film, Games and Digital Media, whose members include the major broadcasters, studios, platforms and producers. He started his career in strategy consulting having graduated from Oxford, Johns Hopkins and Harvard Business School.

Richard Bradley, MD Lion TV
Richard is a co-founder of Lion Television, one of the industry’s most successful production companies with offices in London, Glasgow and New York, producing over 200 hours a year. Richard is the Executive Producer of BAFTA-award winning ‘Horrible Histories’, the hit comedy history series for CBBC, now in its ninth series which has now won over forty awards including 8 BAFTAs. Richard’s recent credits at Lion include the new CBBC programme ‘Step Up to the Plate’,  ‘Mary Beard’s Shock of the Nude’ (BBC2), ‘The Next Pompeii’ (PBS/ARTE, winner AAAS Gold Medal 2019),  Pompeii:  Secrets of the Dead (Nat Geo),Horrible Histories:  Rotten Romans, The Movie, ‘Venice 24/7’. Lion works with the key UK, US and European broadcasters, SVODs like Netflix, and has pioneered production partnerships in Asia, particularly China.  Richard is co-chair of the Children’s TV Council and on the board of the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers.

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As we move into a new decade, it’s a good time to think about our future audiences and how we can serve them now and in the years to come.