Channel 4 steps up chief executive search

Three new potential candidates for the Channel 4 CEO role have emerged, including ITV director of strategy and development Carolyn Fairbairn and BBC chief operating officer Caroline Thomson.

Warner Bros UK president and MD Josh Berger is also believed to be in the running, according to media reports.

They are among the names expected to appear on the shortlist being considered to take over from Andy Duncan who will leave the broadcaster at the end of the year.

They join other potential candidates that have already been touted including ITV director of TV, channels and online Peter Fincham, UKTV chief executive David Abraham, Microsoft UK MD Ashley Highfield,former BBC2 controller and Discovery Channel US chief Jane Root and internally, Channel 4’s director of television and content Kevin Lygo.

The search is being led by the broadcaster’s outgoing chairman Luke Johnson. He has enlisted executive recruitment company Egon Zehnder to start the process.

Fairbairn joined ITV in 2007 and has previously worked at the BBC as director of strategy.

Thomson has held various roles at the BBC including director of policy and legal, and director of strategy. She previously worked at Channel 4 as commissioning editor, science finance and industry in 1984.

Meanwhile, Berger was promoted to his role as UK and Ireland president and MD at Warner Bros Entertainment (WBEUK) in December 2006 after having worked with the media company for 17 years.

Prior to this promotion, Berger served as executive VP and managing director, WBEUK. He has also previously been senior VP and managing director for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, Warner Bros. International Television Distribution.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here