Townsend nets BSkyB’s role at new media outfit

Chris Townsend, the former marketing director of BSkyB’s digital services, has joined South African-based new media company Primedia.

Townsend will be the commercial director for the company which has a variety of new media interests including interactive digital TV sites, databases and Websites. Townsend also takes up a place on Primedia’s UK board, as well as becoming a minority shareholder in the company.

He says: “There is a great deal of opportunity in this area. This company is geared to support interactive commerce in the digital age.”

Townsend left Sky in April amid reports that he and chief executive Mark Booth disagreed over the strategy the satellite company’s digital service should take. However, Townsend described the split as “amicable” (MW April 4).

Townsend worked for Sky and British Interactive Broadcasting (BIB), in which Sky has a 25 per cent stake, for six years.

Primedia managing director Eddie Shotton says: “Chris’s experience in digital television and interactive commerce will help the team to create leading-edge solutions to the challenges in this market.”

Primedia has been active in the UK for two years and has already acquired a number of direct mail companies including Mailcom, Alpha Mail and the Database Group. The company plans to float next year.

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