David Weeks has been named commercial director at the soon-to-launch GB News.
Weeks joins the broadcaster from Discovery, where he was client and partnership consultant. Discovery is one of the lead investors in GB News along with Legatum and Sir Paul Marshall.
Reporting to Marc Schipper, GB News chief operating officer, Weeks told Campaign: “We’ll be looking at any potential partnerships and linear ad opportunities across different digital platforms.”
Weeks could not confirm at this stage whether GB News will handle ad sales directly or via another sales house. Discovery outsources most of its ad sales in a split arrangement between Sky and Channel 4.
In a post on LinkedIn, Weeks said: “This innovative new television and digital news channel will launch soon with a refreshingly different perspective to news, opinion and debate for the whole of the UK.
“Looking forward to sharing our exciting plans with clients and agencies as we build great partnerships with the whole of Britain.”
GB News is set to launch later this year, although there is not yet a confirmed date. In February, founder and chairman Andrew Neil, who left the BBC in September 2020, wrote in the Daily Express: “I’m doing it because I believe the direction of news debate in Britain is increasingly woke and out of touch with the majority of its people. I believe our national conversation has become too metropolitan, too southern and too middle-class.”
The move led to campaigning group Stop Funding Hate tweeting major advertisers urging them not to support the broadcaster with their media spend.
A well-known media figure, Weeks spent a decade at The Week, where he was executive director. He left in September 2019 following a restructure at parent Dennis Publishing after it was acquired by Exponent Private Equity the previous year.
After that, Weeks spent just under a year at cinema sales house Pearl & Dean as client and partnership consultant before joining Discovery.