Following an earlier initial tweet from UK public service channel Channel 4’s Twitter account – quickly deleted – the broadcaster confirmed mid-afternoon March 14th that its Chief Executive David Abraham intends to step down from his role by the end of 2017 in order to develop personal plans to launch a media enterprise in 2018. Abraham will remain in role until a new Chief Executive has been appointed and is in post.
Abraham has been a strong opponent of the Conservative administration’s mooted privatisation of the broadcaster, declaring that Channel 4’s funding model was sustainable and that it could actually make Channel 4’s remit less sustainable and would have a negative impact on the UK economy and UK viewers.
Charles Gurassa, Channel 4 Chair said: “David Abraham has been an outstanding Chief Executive of Channel 4 over the last seven years. Under his leadership the Channel has delivered record revenues, record programme investment, award winning creative renewal and industry leading digital innovation. He leaves the organisation in excellent creative and financial health and with a strong and highly experienced team in place. We wish him well in his future new enterprise. My colleagues on the Board and I will be undertaking a comprehensive recruitment process over the next months to ensure that Channel 4 continues to have outstanding leadership into the future.”
Abraham said: “I had three priorities when I joined Channel 4 in 2010: to build an independently sustainable business while still delivering strongly to our public remit; to assemble a team capable of delivering creative renewal post Big Brother; and to become world leaders in digital and data innovation. After several successive years of positive momentum and with revenues now of c£1 billion, investment in content of £700 million and sustained creative performance, I have decided that 2017 is the right year for me to hand over this important public job to my successor.
“I have enjoyed every day of my time at C4, in particular working with the insanely talented and committed people whom it’s been my great privilege to lead. We run a world-class public service broadcaster that offers viewers and producers the opportunity for so much richness, delight and value, across so many genres – and long may that continue. Channel 4 matters and I am confident that our stakeholders recognise the unique and significant contribution it will make to the future of UK broadcasting and to the creative industries more broadly.
“I now look forward to working with the Channel 4 Board to support and hand over to my successor and then begin the next phase of my life – back in the private sector where I hope to build an organisation that makes use of all that I learned from leading different kinds of innovative creative businesses.”