Five names Milligan as acting chief executive

LONDON – Five owner RTL has named its head of advertising and sales, Nick Milligan, as acting chief executive ahead of Dawn Airey's departure for BSkyB on Friday.

Yesterday, RTL revealed that it was not holding Airey to her one-year notice period and was letting her leave almost immediately.

She will depart the channel on Friday to take up her new role of managing director of Sky Networks at BSkyB, where she will be responsible for all non-sports related programming.

Speculation about Airey's replacement has been rife since she shocked the broadcasting world on Sunday with news of her move to Sky. Most stunned were ITV executives, who were under the erroneous impression that they were about to hire her as the new chief executive of ITV.

Milligan is unlikely to stay at Five, which was rebranded from Channel 5 last week, if he is not given the job full time.

Five could find itself in the position of not only losing Airey, but losing a raft of its top executives as Airey and ITV poach what has become a successful team at the resurgent channel.

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