Second Channel 4 executive resigns

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The Independent Online
Peter Ansorge, Channel 4's head of drama, became the channel's second senior executive to leave yesterday within the first week of new chief executive Michael Jackson's reign.

Last week Seamus Cassidy, head of comedy for the channel, left because he wanted to return to programme-making. Mr Ansorge, however, is leaving because Mr Jackson's plans for the channel "do not include him", said a Channel 4 source.

Mr Ansorge's departure will increase tensions at the channel, where a number of commissioning editors are known to be worried about their future. "They could all be teaching on media studies courses by the end of the year," joked one insider yesterday.

Mr Ansorge, who had been with Channel 4 for 12 years, was the man behind its long-running association with dramatist Alan Bleasdale, the writer of GBH and Jake's Progress. He was also responsible for The Politician's Wife and overseeing Brookside.

Channel 4 denied there had been a dispute about Brookside's recent controversial portrayal of a woman dying of cancer.

Works commissioned by Mr Ansorge will still be shown, including a dramatisation of Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time.