Business Irish

Saturday 19 October 2019

Five senior TV3 executives defect to new broadcaster UTV

UTV Ireland’s managing director Michael Wilson and chief executive John McCann are building their team ahead of January’s launch
UTV Ireland’s managing director Michael Wilson and chief executive John McCann are building their team ahead of January’s launch

Sam Griffin and Kirsty Blake Knox

The country's newest broadcaster UTV Ireland has nabbed five senior executives from rival broadcaster TV3 as the competition between the two commercial broadcasters intensifies.

The new station, which begins broadcasting in January, announced nine senior executive appointments with all but one having previously worked for TV3 at one stage in their careers.

Five of the new appointments have been directly cherry picked from TV3 management.

The most senior loss to the Ballymount-based television station is Daragh Byrne who was the company's Director of Sales. He was yesterday announced as the new UTV Commercial Director. He will begin his new role in August.

Joanne King has also left TV3 to take up a Direct Sales Manager position with the new broadcaster. She previously managed the Direct Sales portfolio for TV3 in Setanta Sports.

Others who depart TV3 include Paula McCarthy who becomes Head of Sponsorship and Promotions. She was Head of Branded Content with TV3.

The group has also lost its research manager Daragh O'Halloran who has landed the Head of Research position with UTV Ireland. David Townend will take on the role of Head of UK Sales for UTV. He previously held the role in TV3.

The other appointees announced yesterday include Aine Ni Chaoindealbhain, who will be the station's new General Manager, as well as Deirdre Stokes who is Head of Sales Operations. David McMunn will be Head of Legal and Compliance. All three previously worked with TV3 at some point in their careers. The other new appointee is Rowan O'Sullivan who will be head of Programme Acquisitions.

Announcing the new appointments, the company's Chief Executive John McCann said they would compliment the existing team.

"These appointments highlight the wealth of talent and experience now available to UTV Ireland across various business disciplines."

UTV has made no secret it intends to target TV3's audience share with Managing Director Michael Wilson previously stating TV3 had "dropped the ball" after losing its contract to air Coronation Street.

A TV3 spokesperson last night played down the loss of five of its management team.

"We're focused on what TV3 are doing and not really paying attention to what UTV are doing," she said.

Last month Mary Curtis was appointed UTV Ireland's first Head of Channel with responsibility for overseeing content.

Meanwhile, the man behind hit series 'Celebrity Bainisteoir', 'Secret Millionaire' and 'Ireland's Fittest Family' has been appointed Channel Controller of RTE One television. Adrian Lynch had been the Managing Director of production company Animo Television.

Irish Independent

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