Second exec at Five resigns in top level shake up

Five’s managing director for programming, who was instrumental in bringing Natasha Kaplinsky to Five News, is the latest executive to leave the channel.

Lisa Opie has resigned from the broadcaster a day after Five CEO Jane Lighting also stepped down.

The top-level changes at the broadcaster were set in motion by Dawn Airey’s defection from the ITV board to take the CEO job at Five earlier this week.

Airey had been head of global content for ITV and tipped for the chairman’s job when current incumbent Michael Grade leaves in 2010.

Opie admitted her decision to leave was based on the shake up at board level. ”Five is in good health, but Jane’s departure and the arrival of Dawn Airey as chairman of Five means that it is time for a change.

‘I would like to wish Dawn all the best in her new role – and assure her that she will be inheriting a highly capable team of creative people. In the meantime, I am confident that Mark White, interim chief executive, will maintain Five’s recent progress.”

Five’s owner RFL Group said that Airey would join the company as Five’s chair and chief executive on May 1 next year ‘at latest”.

Both Opie and Lighting have agreed to a six-month period of ‘gardening leave’from the broadcaster following their joint departure today.

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