UK’s Sky Living taps tabloid editor for top job

UK cablenet Sky Living has appointed journalist Jane Johnson, a top editor at British tabloid newspaper The Sun, to be its new director.
February 3, 2011

UK cablenet Sky Living has appointed journalist Jane Johnson, a top editor at British tabloid newspaper The Sun, to be its new director.

Johnson, currently serving as The Sun‘s Saturday and associate editor, will be charged with spearheading the development of the Sky Living brand, reporting to Sophie Turner Laing, Sky’s MD of entertainment, news and broadcast operations. She will have on- and off-screen responsibility for Living and brand offshoots Sky Livingit and Sky Living Loves.

The Sun newspaper is owned by News Corporation, which is also the largest shareholder in Sky Living’s parent company BSkyB, making the appointment essentially an inter-company move, albeit an unusual one.

Turner Laing said Johnson had “extraordinary experience and insight in connecting with female audiences,” adding: “A combination of a refreshed brand, extra on-screen investment and Jane’s ability to tap into and help shape the female agenda will only serve to make [Sky Living] even more dynamic and engaging.”

Johnson helped launch women’s magazines Closer, Fabulous and Buzz in the UK, and held positions as deputy editor of The News of the World, editorial director of Fabulous, editor of Closer, executive editor of The Sunday Mirror and women’s editor of The Daily Mirror.

She will attempt to use this experience to grow Sky Living’s position as a destination brand for women, as well as grow digital engagement with the brand, particularly online.

Her appointment comes after a cull that followed the Living TV Group’s (LTG) acquisition by BSkyB last year. Among the departures since the takeover have been LTG MD Johnny Webb, director of programs Daniela Neumann and director of television Claudia Rosencrantz.

Also out was LTG acquisitions manager Ronan Hand, who left to join FX, while LTG’s head of commissioning Mark Sammon took up the new role of head of factual entertainment, covering Sky1, Sky Arts, Sky Living and Sky Atlantic.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.