SMG has appointed former Channel 4 commercial director Rob Woodward as chief executive as it calls off talks with Ulster TV over a merger. SMG chairman Chris Masters has also stepped down and will be replaced by Richard Findlay, the former chief executive of Scottish Radio Holdings, with immediate effect.
This is the second time that talks between the two media companies have collapsed without leading to a deal. SMG turned down a £400m offer from UTV during the summer but talks restarted after SMG received an approach from UTV on December 11.
Woodward joined Channel 4 in August 2001 as managing director of 4 Ventures and was later promoted to commercial director of the division but left in 2005. Prior to that he worked in corporate finance in both London and New York.