The Independent Television Commission is about to undergo the biggest ever revamp of its programming department in a bid to keep up with the explosion of multi-channel television.

The shake-up will mean

The Independent Television Commission is about to undergo the biggest ever revamp of its programming department in a bid to keep up with the explosion of multi-channel television.

The shake-up will mean that for the first time dedicated programme officers will be appointed for different genres such as current affairs, entertainment and drama.

The changes will also sweep away the historical division between the regulation of cable and satellite and terrestrial programmes at the ITC, although the commission insisted that this does not mean that cable and satellite and terrestrial will be regulated according to the same rules.

The changes, overseen by ITC director of programmes and cable Sarah Thane and her new deputy, Marion Bowman, see senior programme officer Steve Perkins appointed head of factual programmes and Guy Phelps - formerly responsible for cable and satellite programming - head of non-terrestrial.

The regulator is currently in the process of appointing its new genre-based programme officers, and will also hire four new employees to beef up the programme division to 38 staff.

An ITC spokesman said: 'Since Channel 5 launched the division has only increased by one member of staff while the number of programme services have gone from 50 to well over 300 - there has been astronomical growth in TV.'