British television station Channel 5’s director of marketing Jim Hytner has decided to switch channels, moving to the post of commercial director at rival commercial broadcaster ITV.

Hytner – acknowledged as an important contributor to Channel 5’s successful growth in the commercial TV sector – replaces John Hardie, who is moving to Walt Disney to take charge of EMEA operations.

ITV’s new recruit joins at a difficult time – ad revenues are in recession [WAMN: 25-Jun-01], while digital terrestrial unit ITV Digital is struggling to keep up with satellite rival BSkyB’s subscriber numbers. Hytner will take responsibility for the launch of a digital sports channel, the continuing foray of the ITV brand into pay-TV and the rebranding of the flagship terrestrial channel as ITV1.

“Channel 5 is a very special place to work and I am lucky that I have been offered the one job that would tempt me to leave,” commented Hytner. “I am really looking forward to developing the portfolio of ITV brands but hope that Channel 5 continues to prosper as well.”

News source: Financial Times