ITV poaches Channel 5 marketer Jim Hytner

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The Independent Online

ITV Raided Channel 5 yesterday to appoint Jim Hytner as its marketing and commercial director, a move that coincided with the rebranding from today of ONdigital, the multichannel terrestrial television platform, as ITV Digital.

Mr Hytner, who had been responsible for marketing at Channel 5 since 1998, will take over ITV's marketing as the network faces the toughest advertising climate in a decade. ITV Digital has also unnerved some City investors after consuming £800m in investment to gain 1.1 million subscribers, leaving it more than 4 million subscribers behind BSkyB. ITV Digital is expected to spend another £400m before breaking even in 2003 or 2004.

Mr Hytner will be in charge of on-air and off-air promotion for Channel 3, which is to be rebranded as ITV1. He will also run marketing for the network's digital channels, such as ITV 2.

Crucially, his appointment comes just one month before the launch of ITV Sport, a subscription-only channel that is the network's first concerted move into packaging and marketing its own premium television content.