Jun 5, 2017

Channel 4 appoints Alex Mahon as chief executive

Channel 4 has appointed its first female chief executive, hiring Alex Mahon from the special effects business Foundry to lead the broadcaster at a time of deep uncertainty over its future location and a slump in the television advertising market. Ms Mahon, 43, beat a short list of candidates that included Rob Woodward, the boss of Scottish commercial broadcaster STV; Jonathan Allan, C4's sales director; and Jay Hunt, C4 chief creative officer, who resigned on Friday last week. Although Dawn Airey ran Channel 5 from 2000 to 2002, and Charlotte Moore and Anne Bulford currently hold senior executive posts at the BBC as director of content and deputy director-general, Ms Mahon will be the first woman to run any of the big four networks. As well as potentially having to tackle a large-scale relocation, Ms Mahon will also have to confront an alarming decline in Channel 4's audience among younger viewers, as the broadcaster faces growing competition from streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon. "Although Channel 4 has significant reserves it doesn't have any significant other source of revenue and if the ad slump prolongs itself to next year, that is going to be quite a demanding time."

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