Pearson names Eyre TV chief as C5 stake goes up for sale

- Pearson, the media company, has named Richard Eyre, chief executive of the ITV network, as the new chief executive of Pearson Television.

- Pearson, the media company, has named Richard Eyre, chief executive of the ITV network, as the new chief executive of Pearson Television.

Eyre leaves ITV after a two year stint during during which time he led its revival and increased peak time audience share to 39 per cent. He succeeds Greg Dyke, who left Pearson Television last month to take up his new role as Director General of the BBC.

Eyre took on the role in 1997 after a six year spell as chief executive of Capital Radio. Prior to joining Capital, Eyre spent 15 years in the advertising industry, including a five year spell as media director of the BBH agency.

His appointment comes as Warburg Pincus, the American venture capital group, has begun the process of selling its stake in Channel 5, the UK's fifth terrestrial broadcaster. Pearson, which has an 18 per cent stake in the channel, is known to be keen to increase this. The sale of the Warburg stake is expected to value the channel at about £1 billion.

Others interested in buying a stake in Channel 5 are reported to include Flextech and BSkyB.

However, the channel's existing shareholders have the right to match any external offers. Alongside Pearson, these include CLT-ufa, the Bertelsmann television division, and United News & Media, publisher of The Express, both of which have a 29 per cent stake.





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