Media Lifeline: David Abraham, chief executive of UKTV

The new chief executive of UKTV has made the move from adman to broadcaster appear seamless.

1987: Having joined Benton and Bowles as a graduate trainee from Oxford in 1984, David Abraham gains a reputation as one of the brightest young prospects in advertising. He soon jumps ship to another intensely creative agency, CDP, where he becomes an account manager on the Nabisco and NatWest brands.

1990: In 1990, Abraham joins the London office of Chiat/Day, where he manages the Midland Bank and First Direct accounts. Over a period of five years, he rises to become the deputy managing director at the age of 30.

1995: Now Abraham, alongside Andy Law, leads a management buyout of Chiat/Day from Omnicom to create St Luke's. He is instrumental in implementing the "co-operative ethos" which makes the agency so distinctive. But when St Luke's hits rough waters - losing the BSkyB and HSBC accounts in quick succession - Abraham bails out, joining Discovery Networks Europe as its general manager in 2001.

2005: He takes to the television business like a duck to water and is lured to Discovery headquarters in the US, where he becomes a general manager at TLC and Discovery Home. He relaunches TLC with a radically revised programme line-up - commissioning much of the new programming from the BBC's production unit in New York - and leads it to 11 straight months of audience gains.

2007: Abraham is unveiled as the new chief executive of UKTV, the joint venture between the BBC and Virgin Media that operates ten cable and satellite channels. He will take up his new role in April following the retirement of the chief executive, Dick Emery.

Fast forward ...

2010: When Malcolm Wall, the chief executive of Virgin ITV, moves on, everyone expects Abraham to succeed him. But he surprises the market by staying loyal to the BBC, leading a start-up company to run the newly privatised BBC channels 1 and 2, which are now to take advertising.