Channel 4 bolsters sales arm with appointments of senior MediaCom and ITV execs

The senior hires are part of chief revenue officer Verica Djurdjevic’s leadership restructure.

Channel 4's HQ in Leeds
Channel 4's HQ in Leeds

MediaCom UK managing partner Victoria Appleby and ITV controller Fatima Dowlet have taken senior sales roles at Channel 4 as part of a leadership restructure. The pair will join the broadcaster in January.

Appleby joins the public sector broadcaster as its head of sales in London, a new role in which she will focus on working with network and larger independent media agencies.

The post is one of three client-facing leadership roles centred on developing partnerships with customers at Channel 4’s sales arm, 4Sales.

The other two roles, which are existing customer-facing sales leader positions, have been handed to Ewan Douglas, who is head of sales for nations and regions and business development, and Clare Peters, client strategy and comms partner.

Appleby has been MediaCom UK’s managing partner for nearly four years. At the agency she has led one of the multidiscipline business groups, serving clients including Coca-Cola, which WPP has just retained as a client, Moneysupermarket, Uber and eBay.  

Dowlet will join Channel 4 in January as sales proposition partner. In that new role, she will be responsible for overseeing 4Sales' existing products and services, which include its data suite offering, brand partnerships and sponsorship, and the creative team PL4Y.

She moves into one of two leadership roles focused on product and digital innovation, alongside Jonathan Lewis, head of commercial innovation and partners.

Dowlet currently works as the controller of ITV’s Planet V platform, and has led the roll-out of ITV’s self-service programmatic video platform. She has previously held roles at The Addressable Platform, Amobee and Videology.

Other members of Channel 4’s new sales leadership team are Ed Chalmers, head of commercial trading, Barry John, head of sales operations, and Vinay Solanki, head of Channel 4 Ventures.

Djurdjevic said: “We need to continually adapt and innovate our commercial strategy to deliver the ambitious targets set out in our Future4 strategy and ensure a thriving future for Channel 4. A key part of this is making sure we have the right resources, skills and capabilities in the right places to support more agile and faster decision-making.

“Expanding and refocusing the senior leadership team around a customer-orientated business model with digital and creative innovation at its core, not only secures our position in an increasingly challenging market, but also makes Channel 4 the most progressive partner  to do business with.”  

Channel 4's strategy is to diversify its revenue streams towards more digital advertising. In September, it forecast digital revenues to be up 32% year on year by the end of  2021.

Although TV advertising still forms the lion's share of Channel 4’s revenue, digital revenues now make up 19%, and are expected to grow by 32% year on year in 2021. The business has set a target of 30% digital ad revenue by 2025.

Channel 4 is also looking to grow its non-advertising revenues, which now make up 9% of total revenue.

Under Djurdjevic's leadership, 4Sales recently won the Media Week Awards Sales Team of the Year.

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