The rumblings were loud at the recent Edinburgh International Television Festival, but today the day the news was confirmed – Channel 4 CEO Andy Duncan will be departing from the broadcaster before the end of the year.
‘Our future as the main source of public service competition to the BBC has been secured, with the Digital Britain report strongly endorsing our vision for Channel 4 as a digital public service network and the updated remit we proposed due to be enshrined in legislation in the autumn,’ Duncan said in a statement.
‘The publication of the report was also a natural moment for me to take stock and since then, I have been in discussion with Luke [Johnson, Channel 4 chair] and other board members about the future. Channel 4 is facing a further period of change, with a fresh regulatory cycle looming and with the cancellation of Big Brother signaling the most significant creative renewal in our history.
‘We have mutually agreed that this feels like the appropriate moment for me to hand on the baton to someone else and to move on to a fresh challenge after more than five years at the helm.’
Duncan, who took the position in July, 2004, said, ‘It’s been a great five years, during which time we’ve punched well above our weight, out-performing our immediate rivals both creatively and commercially… Having coped with dramatic structural change and an unprecedented downturn substantially better than most, I believe Channel 4 is in a great position to face the future with real confidence.’
Among those rumored to be in the running for the job are Peter Fincham, director of TV at ITV, and Stephen Carter or Lord Carter of Barnes, who lorded over the Digital Britain report released in June.
‘The board is grateful for Andy’s effective leadership,’ said Channel 4 chair Johnson. ‘Channel 4 has enjoyed record creative and commercial success in the past five years while skillfully navigating the seismic upheavals in digital media. When the time comes, he will depart with our best wishes for his future success.’