C4 steals Toon from ITV to control public affairs

Channel Four has poached ITV senior lobbyist Nick Toon to fill its newly created post of head of public affairs.

Toon, currently controller of PA at ITV, is to join C4 next month in a role created to beef up comms efforts

His key priorities involve lobbying around Ofcom’s current reviews of public service broadcasting and the future of the BBC’s Royal Charter.

Toon said: ‘This is a newly created role to give C4 a bigger voice among regulators and politicians.

‘Because of the activity going on and taking into account the big three of ITV, BBC and BSkyB, there’s a need for C4 to punch above its weight.’

Toon will report to C4 head of corporate relations John Newbigin.

Previous lobbying responsibilities were undertaken by deputy head of corporate relations Martin Scott, who left in May to join Five in a similar role.

A source at C4 said Toon’s role was ‘beefed up’ to reflect his PA experience.

Toon joined ITV in 1999 and previously worked at LLM Communications as a consultant and as a senior researcher in the BBC’s political research unit. ITV is reviewing his role.

Last week, C4 ended its search for a chief executive with the surprise appointment of BBC marketing director Andy Duncan.

Others tipped for the post – made vacant by the exit of Mark Thompson to the BBC – included Sky Networks MD Dawn Airey.

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