Elstein quits C5 and gets a £5m payout

David Elstein, the controversial chief executive of Channel 5, is to quit the station after a year spent combating criticism of the network's sleazy image. His "golden goodbye", including share options, is estimated at up to £5m.

David Elstein, the controversial chief executive of Channel 5, is to quit the station after a year spent combating criticism of the network's sleazy image. His "golden goodbye", including share options, is estimated at up to £5m.

Mr Elstein's job will go to the programme director Dawn Airey, who will also keep her current role. The promotion makes her one of the most powerful women in British television.

Mr Elstein,branded the "pornographer in chief", hasbeen an astute businessman, taking Channel 5's audience share to 6 per cent, exceeding all targets. But insiders had been predicting he would leave after the Luxembourg-based company RTL became the majority shareholder earlier this year. RTL insiders made clear their preference for Ms Airey.

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