Abraham takes up the position vacated by Andy Duncan in November but does not yet have a start date.
Lord Burns, Channel 4’s recently appointed chairman, says: “David is a rare commodity as a broadcaster in that he has an exceptional track record as an innovative leader, both creatively and commercially. At all stages of his career he’s led creative teams and commissioned creative output of the highest quality in a commercial environment. It is that experience, we believe, that so well qualifies him for the challenge of running a commercially funded, public service broadcaster like Channel 4.
“He has a track record of success as a chief executive and the right mix of skills to get all parts of Channel 4 working together to unlock our full creative and commercial potential and complete our transition into digital.”
Channel 4’s interim management team, led by acting chief executive Anne Bulford, will remain in place until his arrival.
The broadcaster has been wrestling with a model for its future funding and how to repurpose its programming to meet its public service remit. This summer will see the last series of cash cow series Big Brother. The final series of Celebrity Big Brother is currently running.
Last summer director of television and content Kevin Lygo said that the broadcaster’s drama budget would be boosted by £20m following the axeing of Big Brother.
Abraham took up the position of chief executive of UKTV in April 2007 and oversaw the relaunch of the G2 channel as Dave, which was followed by a rebranding of the entire UKTV
He joined UKTV from Discovery Networks USA, where, as president and general
manager for TLC from 2005, he was responsible for overseeing all content investment and strategy for the US cable network.
Prior to this, Abraham was general manager of Discovery Networks UK for four years.
He was also a founder and chief operating officer of independent advertising agency St Luke’s.