BREAKING NEWS: Channel Five CEO to step down

New owner slashes almost entire senior-management team.
British media baron Richard Desmond recently bought Channel Five for $163 million.
British media baron Richard Desmond recently bought Channel Five for $163 million.

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Dawn Airey, chief executive of Channel 5, is to step down as part of a shake-up of management at Britain's smallest terrestrial broadcaster, under plans from new owner Richard Desmond, according to Reuters.

Channel 5 said Airey would stay on for several months to oversee cost savings likely to result in up to 80 job cuts, before a new investment programme begins.

She will then move to the broadcaster's former owner, RTL AUDK.LU, to take up a senior role.

Other senior figures set to leave Channel 5 include six board directors, the channel's controller, managing director, and finance director.

"Whilst I am sorry to see Dawn move on, I am thrilled that she will be in the mix to contribute to the various exciting plans we have and oversee the acquisition and development of brilliant new content," Desmond said.

Savings will come from efficiencies as Channel 5 integrates with Desmond's Northern & Shell group of companies.
A new five-year investment programme worth around 300 million pounds ($471 million) per year will then seek to improve the broadcaster's programming and content development.

British media baron Desmond, the publisher of OK! celebrity magazine, the Daily Express newspaper, and adult entertainment said in July he would buy Channel 5 from European group RTL for 125 million euros ($163 million).

RTL put the network up for sale after it struggled to keep up with the BBC, ITV (ITV.L), Channel 4, and others in attracting viewers.

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