Intl. Family Entertainment has appointed Paul Newton as managing director of the Family Channel in the United Kingdom.
Newton previously was a consultant with Price Waterhouse specializing in cable and satellite TV, most recently advising the ITV company Central TV.
He joins Family U.K. Aug. 2.
The appointment, which was made by IFE’s U.S.-based chief exec Tim Robertson, took the company’s London staff by surprise. Robertson had previously been occupying the role of station chief himself, and was expected to continue as such at least until the channel’s launch Sept. 1.
But Family Channel insiders said the company felt it need a British managing director, some who had “contact with the local culture.” It has already hired a British program director, Nigel Pickard, from Scottish TV.
Sources suggest that Robertson was also concerned about the expanding costs of launching the U.K. channel, and wanted someone in London full-time to keep the situation under control.