Mansfield appointed Capital chief executive

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The Independent Online
Capital Radio has moved quickly to plug the senior management gap left by Richard Eyre, chief executive, who has left the company to join ITV. Following a rapidly convened board meeting Capital yesterday announced that Mr Eyre, who will be chief executive at ITV, will be succeeded by David Mansfield, currently group managing director with responsibility for operations.

Mr Mansfield has been with Capital for four years, first as group commercial director with responsibility for advertising sales before he was appointed group managing director this year. He was hired two years after Mr Eyre as part of the radio group's strategy of enhancing its management skills by bringing in executives from outside the radio industry. Before joining Capital, Mr Mansfield was director of sales and marketing at Thames Television.

Martina King, station manager of Capital in London, is being tipped by industry insiders to replace Mr Mansfield as group managing director. Ms King was brought to Capital by Mr Mansfield from the Guardian's advertising sales team in 1993. Mr Mansfield worked closely with Mr Eyre and is expected to continue the group's strategy of using the Capital brand to expand into the leisure sector while gearing up the radio side of the business for the advent of digital audio broadcasting (DAB).

Ian Irvine, chairman of Capital Radio, said Mr Mansfield's appointment would allow a consistency of approach: "David has worked alongside Richard leading a strong executive team. He has been closely involved in the development of strategy and the operations of the business for four years."

At ITV Mr Eyre will report to the ITV Council, which is made up of the chief executives of the ITV broadcasters.

Although the council includes industry heavyweights such as Steve Morrison from Granada, Roger Laughton from United News & Media and Clive Jones from Carlton, the ITV Council's chairman, Leslie Hill, emphasised that Mr Eyre's role was "the big job" and he would have a large degree of autonomy and responsibility.

Mr Eyre, who joins ITV in October, faces the task of merging the functions of the ITV Association, which under director Barry Cox oversees the network's digital plans and lobbying, with the Network Centre's scheduling, programming and marketing functions. An early job will be to find a scheduling head to replace Marcus Plantin, the outgoing network director.