Michael Jackson, chief executive at British broadcaster Channel 4, yesterday announced he is resigning to take charge of the entertainment unit of Los Angeles-headquartered media company USA Networks.

Jackson – credited with turning Channel 4 into a mainstream media group with digital and pay-TV interests – will oversee cable, film and TV production operations at USA Entertainment.

“For some time now, I’ve tried to induce Michael Jackson to join USA,” revealed his new boss Barry Diller, chief executive at USA Networks. “Finally, and at a definitive juncture in the life of our entertainment assets, this remarkable executive has agreed to lead our entertainment businesses.”

A date for his departure is yet to be announced. Potential candidates to replace him include Dawn Airey, chief executive of Channel 5, and Mark Thompson, director of television at the BBC.

News sources: Financial Times; CampaignLive (UK)