Sky Italia’s czar ankles

Fink to perform duties temporarily

MILAN — Sky Italia’s programming general manager David Bouchier will leave April 14 for the U.K., Rupert Murdoch’s paybox announced Thursday in Rome.

His duties will be temporarily performed by Kathryn Fink, commercial director of programming at Sky and Bouchier’s assistant.

Bouchier was one of the managers who launched Sky Italia after establishing Murdoch’s flagship pay TV venture BSkyB in the U.K.

He has worked on the Italo venture since early 2002, taking part in negotiations with Gallic group Vivendi Universal for the sale of its debt-ridden pay TV platform Telepiu, which was rolled into Murdoch’s Stream to form Sky Italia in April 2003.

A lawyer and film buff who has dual British and American nationality, Bouchier has been the head of Sky Italia’s cinema, entertainment and “other channels” divisions, negotiating contracts with the U.S. majors and Italian and international product suppliers.

“I respect David’s decision to go back to the U.K., but I would have been happy if he had decided to extend his contract with us,” said Sky Italia CEO Tom Mockridge.

“I want to create my own venture in the programming industry, and the U.K. is the best place to go,” Bouchier said.

He will be replaced by an Italian manager.

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