Five FD to Leave Channel 5

Jack Humphrey, Regulatory journalist
August 22, 2010 /

Channel 5 is going for a massive cost-cutting initiative following an internal audit which found that a lot of company profits were being spent on top executives’ salary.

Channel 5 has asked Finance Director David Hockley along with 6 other executives working for the broadcaster to leave.

The move has come in after Richard Desmond, who is the proprietor of the Daily Express and OK! Magazine, took ownership of Channel 5 yesterday.

The move ha been planned as a part of the massive £20 million cost-cutting drive Desmond has wants. Seven senior directors have been asked to leave the company, which includes Dawn Airey, who is the Chief Executive and Chairman.

Other than the senior directors, 60 to 80 personnel have been asked to leave.

Among other departing executives of Channel 5 are Paul Chinnery, who is director of legal affairs and company secretary, Sue Robertson, who is corporate affairs director, Mark White, who is the managing director, Natasha Adams who is the head of HR and Charles Constable, who is director of strategy.

The move to reduce staff and management comes 3 weeks after Desmond took ownership of the company after paying £103.5 million.

Channel 5 has reported a loss of €41 m (£34 m) last year. This includes an operating loss of €10 m (£8 m) and writedowns on programming deals. Desmond bought it from its former German media owners RTL.

After the buy-out, Desmond had conducted an internal audit into the workings of Channel 5. The move by Desmond comes at the end of a 13-year effort which was aimed at making the broadcaster known as a standalone, viable, third UK commercial terrestrial broadcaster alongside Channel 4 and ITV.

Desmond’s culling is similar to what he did 10 years ago when he sacked 130 employees after he took over Express Newspapers.


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