Channel 4 poaches ITV’s

Channel 4 has appointed ­rival broadcaster ITV’s public affairs chief to its top lobbying role.

Sophie Jones will join Channel 4 in the new year, taking the newly created post of head of public affairs. She is currently controller of public affairs at ITV and is a former director of corporate affairs at ITN.

Channel 4 is restructuring its corporate relations dep-artment as it prepares for a series of public policy challenges, including Ofcom’s Public Service Broadcasting Review.

The regulator is to look at ways to improve the ­quality of public service broadcasting as the UK switches fully to digital television by 2012. It is due to publish the first phase of the review next March.

Jones will be responsible for persuading the regulator and politicians that Channel 4 has strong public service credentials. She will report to director of corporate ­relations Nick Toon. He said the broadcaster was heading into ‘an extremely challenging period’ and that Jones would help ‘to set out our public role, purpose and ­vision for the digital-only future’.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Simon will move from his current role as head of corporate relations to the newly created post of head of public value at Channel 4. He will implement a new ‘public value framework’ that is being developed by the broadcaster to high-light its public service ­contribution. 

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