Channel 5 is setting up a division called e5, which will handle its new media interests and digital services when they launch in 18 months’ time.
The subsidiary will be led by Channel 5 finance director Damien Harte as chief executive, and marketing director Jim Hytner and channel chief executive David Elstein are on the board. It is expected to start recruiting new staff.
The move was revealed by Elstein at the presentation of the channel’s autumn schedule.
Elstein said: “We are launching an Internet sales house called 5 Interactive and developing a range of dynamic options for our additional Digital Terrestrial capacity, which returns to us in 18 months’ time. All this is under the umbrella of our nascent new media subsidiary, which we call e5.”
The interactive sales house will sell its own media and that of third-party advertisers, and will be headed by the station’s former deputy sales director Paul Curtis. It will take over the contract for sales of C5’s websites from 24/7 Media.
A spokesman says the creation of e5 is a way of putting together all non-core activities and “extra business”. This includes video releases and airtime for equity deals struck with Web businesses.
Channel 5’s digital capacity is being leased by SDN, which uses it for the ONdigital network. It will be returned to Channel 5 at the end of next year, when Channel 5 will launch its digital services, which may include new channels.