Collins joins next month after 12 years at the BBC. She will oversee a nine-strong team and retained agency Taylor Herring Communications.
Marketing director Julia Weston said Collins would build awareness of UKTV's ten channels and the network brand.
'We've generated coverage such as supplying the gnomes for The Sun's pre-election splash. Mary will continue to use news issues to build awareness,' she said.
Collins replaces Elaine Robertson, who is joining marketing firm Mediator.