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Channel 4’s chief creative officer steps down

Jay Hunt

Jay Hunt

Jay Hunt is to leave her post of chief creative officer at Channel 4 after dropping out the race to become CEO at the UK broadcaster.

She will leave the network after seven years, and has been linked with a move to the US after spending several weeks there in recent months.

Her time at the broadcaster has been a mixture of highs, including a number of Channel of the Year wins at British broadcasting events and recent ratings success, to a period in 2013 when Channel 5 came close to overtaking its rival.

Channel 4 faces an uncertain future, with the British Conservative Government committing to moving it from London to Birmingham.

Current CEO David Abraham has rallied against the move, and Hunt is also thought tohave been against a complete relocation.

She will remain in her role until the end of September, during which time shows such as The Great British Bake Off and Philip K. Dicks’ Electric Dreams will launch.

“Jay took on one of the biggest challenges in broadcasting back in 2011 and through immense creativity, courage and determination has delivered magnificently,” said Abraham.

“In recent years the delivery of our remit and our creative output has reached new heights and both I, the staff of Channel 4 and the whole industry owe Jay huge thanks for all she has achieved.”

Hunt had joined Channel 4 from the BBC in 2011,and went on to oversee the launch of now-established series such as Gogglebox, First Dates, Humans, Catastrophe, The Island and Hunted.

While at the BBC, she was controller of BBC One, overseeing the launch of shows such as Sherlock, Luther and Mrs Brown’s Boys.

She also worked as director of programmes at Channel 5, and was controller of BBC Daytime. Prior to that, she spent 15 years working within BBC News.

Jay Hunt’s full statement:

“I’ve loved being at Channel 4 and am incredibly proud of how far we have come creatively,” said Hunt. “From the multiple Channel of the Year awards to the raft of global hits, we’ve had real success.

“I’ve been lucky to have a superlative boss in David Abraham and to have been supported by the best commissioning team in the business. I also owe a hugethank you to the brilliant producers, directors, writers and on screen talent who’ve made it such a thrilling time to be at the helm.

“I will continue in post till the end of September and am looking forward to Channel 4 delivering not just an exciting summer of sport but the richest autumn schedule we’ve ever had with big shows from The Great British Bake Off to Electric Dreams. It’ll be business as usual till October.

“Channel 4 is a unique and special place. I’ve really enjoyed leading this phase of its creative renewal and I’ll be cheering the new leadership team on from afar.”