Lygo leaving Channel 4

Exec to join Channel 5 as director of programs

LONDON — Kevin Lygo has ankled his position as head of arts and entertainment at Channel 4 to become director of programs at Channel 5.

Lygo’s move is a coup for C5, which is a much smaller operation than C4.

It also signals that C5 chief exec Dawn Airey – the channel’s head of programming before the departure of industry vet David Elstein last October – is now prepared to relinquish her control of programming.

Lygo’s departure is an amicable one and the two channels have agreed that the exec will stay on to complete his current duties at C4 before joining C5 later this year. C4 has not yet named a replacement.

At C4, Lygo has been responsible for top fare such as the sketch comedy series “Smack the Pony,” chat show “So Graham Norton” and sitcom “Spaced.” He began his career as a comedy writer at the BBC.

Pan-European conglom RTL Group is C5’s majority shareholder with 65%. The remainder is held by the U.K.’s United Business Media.

C5, known for its cheap and cheerful general entertainment, has recently had its programming budget boosted.

Airey described Lygo as “the perfect candidate to take Channel 5 into the next phase of our growth.”