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Guardian boss David Pemsel linked with Channel 4 head role

David Pemsel is has held the top spot at the Guardian for less than two years

Guardian Media Group’s chief executive, David Pemsel, is reportedly in line to become the new boss of Channel 4.

The broadcaster confirmed its current chief executive, David Abraham, would step down at the end of the year, but has yet to confirm a successor.

Abraham said he intends to depart from his role in order to develop personal plans to launch a media enterprise in 2018.

According to reports in the Telegraph, industry sources claim Pemsel has emerged as a potential successor and has privately signalled interest in the position, although he has not yet applied for the job.

Channel 4 only began advertising for what is one of UK’s highest-paid public sector jobs around two weeks ago and the successful applicant is not expected to be confirmed until the end of May with handover expected late in the year.

Pemsel, a former ITV executive, is less than two-years into his three-year term as chief executive of Guardian Media Group where he has been tasked with curbing heavy losses. Last year the publisher confirmed losses of £69m due to falls in in both print and digital revenue.

The newspaper is expected to announce negative cash flow of around £90m for the financial year ending this week but says it is ahead of its plan break even two years from now.

Pemsel has already enforced cost cuts, but warned staff last week that further job cuts were required, leaving open the possibility that the first ever round of compulsory redundancies within the newsroom could be made.

As well as Pemsel, there are potential internal candidates for the soon to be vacant position. Jay Hunt, Channel 4’s chief creative officer, is widely regarded as a frontrunner, although other senior executives such as advertising head Jonathan Allan and marketing chief Dan Brooke have been named as possible candidates.

Earlier this week culture secretary Karen Bradley decided to rule out privatising Channel 4 amid pressure for the broadcaster to relocate in order to serve the country” and spread creative jobs more broadly across the UK.