Hazlitt in abrupt exit from Virgin

Virgin Radio chief executive Fru Hazlitt has resigned after just 18 months in the role. Virgin programme director Paul Jackson will take over the position immediately.

Her departure comes just weeks after Hazlitt, who joined the station in August 2005, dropped out of the running for the SMG chief executive role. The role has been vacant since the departure of Andrew Flanagan in July.

SMG is understood to have resumed talks with TalkSport-owner UTV over a possible merger. The two companies had discussions last year, but failed to reach a deal. The discussions were started again after SMG issued a profits warning and put outdoor specialists Pearl & Dean and Primesight up for sale.

Jackson has been programme director at Virgin Radio since 2001 and was previously regional programme director for Capital Radio.

It is not clear whether Hazlitt, who was previously managing director of Yahoo! UK and Ireland, has another role to go to.

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