Townsend makes return to digital TV

Former BSkyB director Chris Townsend has left his role as commercial director of new media company Primedia after only ten months to join cable company Telewest.

At Telewest he takes up the newly created role of director of interactive services, and will be responsible for developing the company’s digital TV services, which launch this autumn.

Townsend joins the company on July 26 and will report to Telewest digital TV’s managing director Peter Hall.

When Townsend joined Primedia last August, he said: “There is a great deal of opportunity in this area. This company is geared to support interactive commerce in the digital age.” However, those close to Townsend say he missed the cutting edge of shaping a digital TV network day to day.

Before Primedia, Townsend spent six years at Sky and TV interactive shopping service British Interactive Broadcasting, now called Open, in which Sky has a 33 per cent stake. He was marketing director of digital TV for Sky and commercial director at Open.

The UK’s main cable companies, Telewest, NTL, and Cable & Wireless Communications, are all understood to be in three-way merger talks.

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