Mr Dyke takes over from Frank Barlow, who is retiring as managing director of Pearson, the media and financial services conglomerate. He will be replaced, starting 8 January, by the new chief executive, Marjorie Scardino.
Mr Dyke, who runs Pearson's extensive media interests, is expected to press his case for a management buyout of Pearson Television, which includes Thames, the independent production company, Grundy Worldwide, SelecTV and ACI, the US production company. Pearson also owns 24 per cent of Channel 5, the chairmanship of which is expected to be rotated among representatives of the main shareholders.
Mr Dyke was intimately involved in preparing the bid for Channel 5, which beat a field that included BSkyB and Virgin.