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Keenan upped at Channel 5

Exec takes charge of acquisitions

CANNES — Channel 5, an enthusiastic buyer of U.S. shows, has upped its deputy head of acquisitions, Katie Keenan, to lead the web’s content buying department.

The move follows a huge staff exodus at the station in the wake of Richard Desmond’s recent takeover of the web by his Northern and Shell firm.

Keenan will report to director of programs, Jeff Ford, one of Blighty’s most experienced program and film buyers.

He was responsible for both the acquisitions job in addition to his new role as program director prior to Keenan’s promotion, having replaced program topper Richard Woolfe, one of the first casualties of the new regime.

Ford flies home Wednesday from the Mipcom sales market, where he is understood to have been telling distributors that Five’s new owner is keen to invest in the web’s program budget.

Intriguingly, Desmond himself has spent at least one day at the market, where he is likely to have met distribution executives from the main U.S. studios, who are Five’s key suppliers, with fare such as the “CSI” franchise, “The Mentalist” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

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