Channel 4 has raided the radio industry to appoint its first in-house
sponsorship manager in an attempt to boost sponsorship revenue.
The channel has poached the Classic FM client services manager, David
Charlesworth, to oversee all of its sponsorship operations.
It is the first time that Channel 4 has handled its own sponsorship
arrangements, having previously used the specialist, Scott Lynds.
However, the departure of Simon Lynds from Scott Lynds earlier this year
prompted Channel 4 to rethink its sponsorship requirements.
Insiders also suggest that the Channel 4 sales team believes that it has
failed to achieve its potential sponsorship revenue. The hiring of an
in-house manager is the first step in a new drive to increase the money
it receives from this source.
Charlesworth explained that his brief will be to develop a co-ordinated
sponsorship programme. ‘Sponsorship is such a growth area for
television, but Channel 4, like many television stations, has not been
aggressively selling it. Now we’re addressing that,’ he commented.
Charlesworth will report to Channel 4’s London sales manager, Russell
Hawes. Hawes would not be drawn on the channel’s current levels of
sponsorship, but admitted: ‘We are definitely looking to take more cash.
But it’s important that we handle our sponsorships sensitively and
choose partners that suit our individual programmes.’
This year, the main prospect of sponsorship deals centres on a package
of ten films, including the Madness of King George and the Bafta award-
winner, Shallow Grave.