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
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.