Imi promoted to head Sky division

BSkyB has promoted Matthew Imi to head its joint ventures station division, Sky Ventures.

He replaces James Ackerman, who took over as chief executive of digital TV home shopping channel Open, formerly British Interactive Broadcasting, last August. Ackerman replaced David Hilton, who only lasted nine months as Open’s chief executive.

Open is jointly owned by BSkyB, Midland Bank, BT, and Japanese electronics giant Matsushita.

Sky Ventures is a wholly owned division of Sky Networks, which is the programming arm of BSkyB.

Imi was previously deputy head of Sky Ventures under Ackerman.

Imi will manage a raft of channels in which Sky has a stake. They include the Paramount Comedy Channel, the National Geographic Channels Europe, Granada Plus, and the shopping channel QVC. He will report to Sky Networks general manager Bruce Steinberg.

Sky Networks managing director Elisabeth Murdoch says of the appointment: “Matthew has established a strong working relationship with the channels and our partners and I believe he is the right person to drive Sky Ventures forward into an expanding digital environment.”

Imi adds: “We are always looking for new partnership opportunities which fulfil the strategic and financial criteria adopted by Sky Ventures.”

He joined Sky in 1997 to work in the joint ventures group. Previously he was director of co-productions and sales at BBC Worldwide based in New York.

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