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Channel 5 commercial sales director Nick Bampton set for exit

Channel 5’s commercial sales director Nick Bampton is leaving after more than four years, as the broadcaster prepares for an advertising strategy shift following its acquisition by Viacom.

He leaves at the end of the month although it is not yet known what business he will join. The broadcaster said Bampton's next move would be in the media industry and would be confirmed over the coming months.

Despte his new role, Bampton will continue at Channel 5 as a part-time consultant from 1 April to help ease the leadership changes taking place in the wake of its £463m purchase by Viacom.

Deputy sales commercial directors Agostino di Falco and Ross Belcher will take on Bampton’s responsibilities until his replacement is found.

Bampton, alongside di Falco and Belcher, played a key role in growing the commercial proposition of the channel when it was owned by Richard Desmond’s Northern and Shell. Their efforts, which included product placement deals and integrated campaigns across the media owner’s portfolio, helped boost revenues at the once troubled business, which in turn led to its acquisition.

David Lynn, president of Viacom Media Network in the UK, Australia and Eastern Europe, said: “We’re very grateful to Nick for everything he’s done to help establish Channel 5 on a sound commercial footing and transition the business smoothly into Viacom’s ownership. We look forward to working with him as a consultant and utilizing his considerable experience and wish him well in whatever he decides to do longer term.”

Bampton arrived at Channel 5 in December 2010. Prior to that he held senior roles at Viacom and agency Young and Rubicam.

"After the sale I agreed to help transition the business into Viacom and now that has been completed I want to do something new,” added Bampton. “This is a really exciting time in the media business with heaps of opportunity and I want to be leading this change but with a fresh perspective. I am very grateful to my team at Channel 5 for their amazing hard work and dedication and also to Viacom who I am sure will help Channel 5 flourish under their ownership. I wish them all the best in the future."

His departure comes as Channel 5 looks to sharpen the commercial strategy it honed in the years leading up to its purchase. Much of the efforts are focused on leveraging ad opportunities around all its content, not just the ad breaks. Like its rivals, the broadcaster is trying to secure bigger ad deals as appetite for TV space, particularly around content aimed at younger viewers, wavers due to the improving effectiveness from online media.