UKTV names Darren Childs as CEO

Virgin Media and BBC Worldwide executives come on board at UKTV in CEO and CFO roles.
August 12, 2010

Broadcaster UKTV has revealed the new CEO and CFO for the company, in addition to a new chair, with all the moves taking place in September.

Darren Childs will take up the post of chief executive officer, replacing David Abraham, who stepped down in April to move to Channel 4 as chief exec. Childs is currently the MD for BBC Worldwide Channels, and has been with the company since 2005, where he led expansion and profit increase. He has also served as SVP, international networks for Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) and director of programming for MTV Asia. He is currently part of BBC Worldwide’s exec committee team and sits on the UKTV Board.

In a statement, Childs said, ‘This is an exciting time to lead UKTV. Creating innovative new commercial models made available to broadcasters through the recent evolution in digital delivery and changes in audience demand will add further edge and continue to secure UKTV’s place as the owner and creator of must-have brands for audiences, platforms advertisers and shareholders alike.’

Child’s first appointment at UKTV is Jan Gooze-Zijl, in the role of chief financial officer. He will join the broadcaster from Virgin Media, where he has held a number of financial roles since 2008, and is currently the finance director, planning. He has also represented Virgin Media on the UKTV Board and Finance Committee.

Virgin Media’s CFO, Eamonn O’Hare, will become chair of UKTV and will continue on as CFO at Virgin Media as well. UKTV’s chair alternates on a yearly basis between BBC Worldwide and Virgin Media, shareholders of the company.

O’Hare has been Virgin Media’s CFO since 2009, and before joining Virgin, was the UK finance director of Tesco plc, one of the world’s largest retailers.

The news comes shortly after reports that Virgin Media was selling its 50% stake in UKTV.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.