C4’s Lygo departs ahead of Abraham’s arrival

Channel 4 programming chief Kevin Lygo is to leave to join ITV ahead of the arrival of new Channel 4 chief executive David Abraham.

Big Brother housemates
Big Brother housemates

Lygo, who holds the title director of television and content at C4, is joining ITV to head up its production business as manging director, ITV Studios.

He has presided over a turbulent period for Channel 4, working with former chief executive Andy Duncan and chairman Luke Johnson. During his tenure the broadcaster was embroiled in a racism row sparked by Celebrity Big Brother.

Last year he said that Channel 4 was to step away from US imports and reality shows and would boost its drama budget by £20m. The last series of Big Brother for which C4 is contracted runs this summer.

Lygo had been in the running to replace Duncan but the job went to Abraham. Abraham starts in the position on Tuesday (6 May) and has signalled that he will be deeply involved in creatively renewing the broadcaster’s offering. He is also implementing a strategic review.

New ITV chief executive Adam Crozier began his job this week and has outlined the importance of the broadcaster becoming a multichannel content provider.

He says: “A clear outcome of the ongoing strategy review is the importance of our in-house production arm to the future of ITV’s business.

“Kevin’s appointment underlines our commitment to ensuring home-grown content stays at the heart of our business and our focus on attracting the very best creative talent, both on and off-screen, to ITV. His track record in finding hit programmes and exploiting content will be invaluable as ITV focuses on improving its hit rate across all platforms – television, online and mobile.”

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