Channel 4 has announced that chief creative officer Jay Hunt will step down at the end of September.

News of her departure comes as Channel 4 nears the end of the recruitment process to replace outgoing chief executive David Abraham. Hunt, who has been chief creative officer since 2011, was considered to be the front runner for the job.

It is reported that Hunt had been unsettled by the recent Conservative manifesto pledge to move Channel 4 out of London.

A final decision on the new Channel 4 chief executive is expected to be taken at a board meeting next week.

Candidates tipped for the job include C4’s head of advertising Jonathan Allan, outgoing STV chief executive Rob Woodward, and Alex Mahon, the former chief executive of Shine.  

Hunt said: “I’ve loved being at Channel 4 and am incredibly proud of how far we have come creatively.  From the multiple Channel of the Year awards to the raft of global hits, we’ve had real success.  I’ve been lucky to have a superlative boss in David Abraham and to have been supported by the best commissioning team in the business. I also owe a huge thank you to the brilliant producers, directors, writers and on screen talent who’ve made it such a thrilling time to be at the helm.

Channel 4 Chief Executive, David Abraham said: “Jay took on one of the biggest challenges in broadcasting back in 2011 and through immense creativity, courage and determination has delivered magnificently. In recent years the delivery of our remit and our creative output has reached new heights and both I, the staff of Channel 4 and the whole industry owe Jay huge thanks for all she has achieved."

Channel 4 Chair, Charles Gurassa said: “Jay has made an outstanding and unique contribution to Channel 4. Under her leadership the Channel has re-established itself as a creative powerhouse; innovative, imaginative and risk taking. My colleagues and I are hugely grateful for all she has achieved and wish her every success in her next venture.”

Hunt became Chief Creative Officer of Channel 4 in January 2011, and has greenlit shows such as Gogglebox, First Dates, Humans, No Offence, Catastrophe, Hunted, Child Genius, The Secret Life of 4 Year Olds, Benefits Street, The Island and The Undateables.

She also led the team that delivered the acclaimed coverage of the 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games and brought both Formula One and, controversially, The Great British Bake Off to Channel 4.

Channel 4 was named Edinburgh International TV Festival Channel of the Year in 2014 and 2016, and Broadcast Channel of the Year in 2016 and 2017.

Before joining Channel 4, Hunt was Controller of BBC1, and before that she was Director of Programmes at Channel 5.

Staff Reporter

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