ITV Names Global Radio’s Pembrooke Online MD

Global Radio’s online and interactive director Robin Pembrooke is leaving to fill the vacant managing director post of at the UK’s leading commercial broadcaster ITV.

It reunites Pembrooke with former GCap Radio CEO Fru Hazlitt, who has been brought in as MD of both ITV’s commercial and online operations…

Pembrooke had been online director at GCap during Hazlitt’s tenure and through the sale she brokered to Global. He had also been director of Yahoo’s European product operations during Hazlitt’s period as MD of Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) UK and Ireland.

Dominic Cameron, who had held the MD post since 2008, said in April, during ITV’s strategic review, he was leaving to study at Harvard Business School. And Ben McOwen Wilson, ITV’s head of online generally, is also exiting, leaving Pembrooke reporting to Hazlitt.

It’s a pairing with online track record in a commercial broadcasting context, to drive what must now be a turnaround for an online business new ITV (LSE: ITV) CEO Adam Crozier acknowledges remains “subscale”.

What it means…

The broadcaster has off-loaded its non-core assets like Friends Reunited, Scoot and SDN, effectively shut ITV Local and scaled back original-content production, to concentrate on a smaller-scale site with video (and, so, pre-roll advertising) at its core, preferring drawing audiences to than syndicating to aggregators.

Back in 2007, the then consumer MD Jeff Henry set a ridiculous target of making £150 million a year from online by 2010 – then promptly killed ITV’s main online cash cow by switching Friends Reunited from subscriptions to ad support on the cusp of the downturn. The target was abandoned, Henry left and latest earnings show ITV pulled just £12 million from online last year, only £2 million more than the previous year.

New CEO Crozier has pledged a £75 million investment fund