RTL to Pump New Programming Cash into Channel 5

03 November 2000

RTL, the majority stockholder in Britain's Channel 5 national TV network, is in discussion with co-investor United News & Media with a view to substantially increasing programme and marketing budgets. This would be additional to the £200 million allocated earlier this year.

The decision comes in the wake of last week’s resignation of Channel 5 chief executive David Elstein and the succession to his job of director of programmes, Dawn Airey – renowned, according to CampaignLive, for her ‘Three Fs’ programming policy: Films, Football and F*****g. This potent mix has lifted the channel’s national audience share to six per cent since its launch in March 1997 and insiders see the additional funding as a sweetener for Airey, currently rumoured to be on the receiving end of overtures from ITV.

Insiders also allege that Elstein’s departure was spurred by clashes with Richard Eyre, RTL’s director of strategy and former ITV boss. Eyre is tipped to take Channel 5’s chair if UN&M sells its 35% stake in C5 to RTL.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)