James MacLeod has formerly worked as a publicist at the BBC, before holding a number of roles at ITV since 2005. He joins Channel 4 in March.
He has led ITV’s media response on issues for its big tickets shows such as The X Factor, including the controversy over the alleged bullying of contestant Ceri Rees last September.
The news comes as it has been revealed that Channel 4 is to boost its UK-originated programming budget by around £50m in 2012.
The broadcaster is understood to have experienced a fall of almost ten per cent in the amount of viewing by 16-to-34-year-olds during 2011, the demographic the broadcaster has built its reputation on.