ITV awards top job to Jim Hytner

ITV has appointed Channel 5 marketing and communications director Jim Hytner as its new marketing chief.

Hytner was first linked with the post in Marketing Week (June 21). He replaces John Hardie as marketing and commercial director at ITV.

Hardie is leaving ITV for Walt Disney Television International, where he will take up the post of managing director branded television in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He will oversee the rebranding of ITV to ITV1 before his departure in mid-August.

Hytner will report to ITV chief executive Stuart Prebble when he joins in September. He will be responsible for onand off-air marketing for ITV Channels, ITV and ITV2, and managing relationships with the advertising industry.

As the ITV “brand guardian”, he will also liaise with Jeremy Dale, marketing director of ONdigital – rebranded ITV Digital as of today (July 11) – on marketing issues.

Dale, who reports to ITV Digital managing director Rob Fyfe, also has responsibility for marketing the new ITV Sport Channel, which launches on August 11.

Hytner was one of the favourites for the top BBC marketing job until he ruled himself out of the running at the beginning of the year. He joined the board of Channel 5 in 1998 from BSkyB, where he was marketing director.

Prebble says: “His [Hytner’s] experience of multi-channel and network broadcasting will be invaluable to ITV as we extend our brand across the family of channels and services.”

Hytner says: “Channel 5 is a very special place to work and I am lucky to have been offered the one job that would tempt me to leave.”

A spokesman for Channel 5 said that no decision has been made on a replacement for Hytner. David Bainbridge, head of marketing at the channel, would be an obvious internal candidate for the job.

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