Jackson outlines his C4 strategy

The appointment of Michael Jackson as the new chief executive of Channel 4 has been given a cautious welcome by the advertising community.

The appointment of Michael Jackson as the new chief executive of

Channel 4 has been given a cautious welcome by the advertising

community.



Jackson will join Channel 4 from the BBC, where he is the director of

television, on 1 June. He has a reputation as one of the country’s best

programming chiefs.



Jackson was a leading member of the Campaign for Channel 4 - which

argued for the introduction of the channel at the end of the 70s - and

was one of the first producers to make shows for it.



A graduate in media studies from the Polytechnic of Central London,

Jackson has been with the BBC for ten years. He moved up from head of

music and arts to become controller of BBC2, and then controller of

BBC1. At 39, he will be Channel 4’s youngest chief executive.



Michael Bishop, chairman of Channel 4, said Jackson’s ’innovative flair

and competitive instincts will ensure that Channel 4’s programme remit

continues to thrive.’



In the face of recent accusations that Channel 4 has been moving away

from its remit and targeting mainstream commercial audiences, Jackson

insisted this week that the remit was the key to the channel’s

success.



UK production and the channel’s commitment to the British film industry

would be key areas for expansion, Jackson confirmed this week. He also

signalled that the channel could reduce US imports.



Jackson will not have to fight privatisation. The new National Heritage

Secretary, Chris Smith, confirmed this week that the Labour Government

had no intention of privatising the channel.



David Cuff, the broadcast director of Initiative Media, said: ’Jackson

does not come from our world, but he’s done damage to commercial TV

through the improvements he made at BBC2.’