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Deplanck leaves Canal+’s kids unit to run new gambling firm

Francois Deplanck is leaving his position as head of Canal+’s youth unit to head up a new online gaming company. Having previously run TPS Jeunesse, Deplanck has been in charge of kids programming at French pay TV operator Canal+ since 2007 and played an instrumental role in the launch of the Canal+ Family service.

Canal+ said it was not ready to announce a replacement for Deplanck.

He is leaving his current position to become president of a new online games and betting joint venture between Canal+ and UK gambling firm Ladbrokes. The company does not yet have a name.

Deplanck’s move is the second high-profile departure from the French kids TV scene this week following the news of Dominique Poussier’s upcoming departure as head of free-to-air broadcaster TF1’s youth unit.

Deplanck started his TV career in 1990 at MTV before moving to TPS where he oversaw the launch of digital channels TéléToon, Eureka and Piwi.

Other Canal+ staff at the new betting joint venture include Laurent de Camas, who becomes director of marketing having worked at the pay TV broadcaster in various roles since 1986. Anne Cécile Balland becomes administrative and finance director, having worked at Eurosport and Canal+’s sports unit.