ITV brings Fru Hazlitt on board

ITV has recruited former radio chief Fru Hazlitt to take over a raft of responsibilities, including the commercial operations held by the soon-to-depart Rupert Howell.

Fru Hazlitt
Fru Hazlitt

The broadcaster revealed last week that Howell, a former advertising agency chief, was leaving his position as managing director of brand and commercial. Hazlitt now takes the new role of managing director of commercial and online.

The changes come shortly after the arrival of Adam Crozier as ITV’s new chief executive.

This new role unites ITV’s airtime sales and online businesses and stems from the ongoing strategic review being conducted by ITV. The broadcaster says that the appointmenr shows it is serious about “more fully exploiting” its properties and brands commercially on all platforms and media and that it intends to build revenues across its online businesses.

Hazlitt is thought to be a good friend of ITV chairman Archie Norman, who took up his position earlier this year. She is also believed to have been shortlisted for the Channel 4 chief executive role, recently filled by David Abraham.

She will take over the reins at a time when advertising revenues are rising at ITV and the Wold Cup is expected to give a fillip. However, the broadcaster has warned that it cannot predict a sustainable recovery yet and it recently failed to have the CRR restrictions on its airtime sales lifted.

Hazlitt is a former chief executive of radio group GCap Media and left shortly after the group was bought by Global Radio in 2008. While at GCap she proposed a strategy to shareholders as an alternative to the sale to Global that included the scaling back of digital radio services.

She is also a former chief executive of Virgin Radio and has also worked at Yahoo!

The structural changes at ITV will also see Ben McOwen Wilson, director of online and interactive, leave ITV this summer. He joined ITV in 2006 as ITV’s first derector of strategy before moving onto what was then the ITV Consumer division as COO. He was appointed director of online and interactive in November 2008. ITV’s marketing director remains David Pemsel.

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