Lighting to leave channel as Airey joins
LONDON — The CEO of U.K. terrestrial station Five, Jane Lighting, is discussing her severance terms with representatives of owners RTL following the shock news that Dawn Airey has quit ITV to rejoin Five.
It is understood that Lighting, whose departure from the underperforming web has been predicted for many months, was told by RTL on Monday evening that her departure was imminent.
On Wednesday, in an email to staff, Lighting, who has managed Five through a challenging period since joining the station as CEO in 2003, said she planned to return to the broadcaster’s London HQ Thursday.
“By now you will have read in the press that Dawn Airey is leaving ITV to come and work at Five,” she wrote.
“I am sorry that I am not in a position to confirm any other details yet but I hope to be able to do so soon.
“Meanwhile, I know that your departmental directors will be talking to you today and I am intending to be back in the office tomorrow. With best wishes, Jane.”
A spokesman for RTL, the pan-European media giant that owns Five, indicated that a statement regarding Lighting and the channel’s chairman Remy Sautter would be published before the end of the week.
Airey stunned the British media industry Tuesday, April 29, by quitting her position as head of ITV Global to rejoin Five, where she will be chairman and chief executive.
Airey, a former Five CEO and director of programs, arrived at ITV in October as part of executive chairman Michael Grade’s attempts to help revive the flagging broadcaster by boosting production and distribution coin to supplement advertising revenue.