Mass Axing in Channel 5 Includes FD Also

Sarah Woodman, Global events journalist
August 13, 2010 /

There has been a great upheaval after Richard Desmond, proprietor of the Daily Express and OK acquired ownership of the Channel 5. The foremost among the executive advised  to leave is the finance director David Hockley and Dawn Airey, the chairman and chief executive have to leave Channel 5 as part of the £20m cost-cutting drive. Additional 60 to 80 others have also been asked to leave.

The list of departing executives includes MD Mark White, corporate affairs director Sue Robertson, director of legal affairs and company secretary Paul Chinnery, and Natasha Adams, the head of Human relations.

This reduction began three weeks after Desmond paid £103.5m to buy Channel Five. Channel Five had incurred a loss of (£34m in 2009 which included write downs on programming deals and also an operating loss of £8m from RTL, the German media owners.

Desmond conducted a review of Channel Five and triggered changes that marked the culmination of efforts to reinstate the Channel as a viable and stand alone commercial terrestrial broadcaster in UK in line with Channel Four and ITV.

Steps are being taken to integrate Channel Five with Northern & Shell. Remaining staff would be shifted from their existing Covert Garden premises to Desmond offices located in the city and Docklands. These employees shall be sharing the premises with adult pay-TV business and Portland TV of Desmond.

This kind of harvesting is typical of Desmond’s mode of operation .He carried out similar reduction of 130 employees at the Express Newspapers, the publisher of Sunday Express, Daily Express and Daily Star some ten years back.

Desmond said that public service content such as news and current affairs contents would be further increased in Channel 5 but some children’s favourites may be withdrawn.


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