Channel 4 not looking for Jeff Ford replacement

UK terrestrial broadcaster Channel 4 does not expect to replace director of acquisitions Jeff Ford after it was revealed that he is returning to rival Five.

Channel 4 is expected to eliminate the role as part of its wider restructuring as it aims to save £100m over the next two years.

“It is unlikely that he will be replaced at the same level. There will be an acquisitions department and somebody will be leading it, but whether there will be a director role is unlikely,” a Channel 4 spokesman told TBIvision.

The broadcaster is planning to reduce its international acquisitions budget by around £35m over the next five years, a decision that was reported to have played a role in Ford’s move to Five, where he will become managing director of digital channels and acquisitions.

Director of television and content Kevin Lygo is expected to become more heavily involved in acquisitions and work even closer with the existing team, which includes deputy director of acquisitions Gill Hay and acquisitions and programming manager Ian Mackenzie.

Ford’s most recent acquisition was teen drama 90210, which was picked up from CBS Paramount.