Darren Childs is stepping down as the CEO of UKTV after eight years at the helm of the multichannel broadcaster.
Childs will remain in the role until July 1, with the board now exploring “new leadership options for the next phase of UKTV’s growth.” Since he joined as CEO, UKTV has increased its commercial share of viewing by 42 percent, with revenues up 66 percent.
The news comes as co-owners BBC Studios and Discovery expect to break up the company, with BBC Studios taking a bulk of the channels under the UKTV portfolio and Discovery acquiring the lifestyle networks. Discovery acquired the interest in UKTV when it bought Scripps Networks Interactive.
“It’s been the greatest honor to work with this fantastically talented group of people,” Childs said. “I’m incredibly proud of what this team has created, and the successes they’ve built: growing audiences, working with our producer partners to create a collection of award-winning programs; and making bold entertainment brands that stand out from the crowd. We’ve created a huge amount of value and had a lot of fun. I want to give my sincere thanks and appreciation for the support the team has given me and look forward to continuing to work with our group over the coming months to ensure I pass the baton in a seamless fashion. I wish the company every success for the future.”
JB Perrette, UKTV board member and president and CEO of Discovery International, added, “Darren is a fantastic executive who has helped build market-leading brands and content, and a terrific team during his tenure at UKTV. He has made an invaluable contribution to the business and on behalf of Discovery and the UKTV board, I want to thank him for his commitment, creativity and resourcefulness at the helm of UKTV.”
Tim Davie, CEO of BBC Studios, noted, “Darren deserves our thanks for his many achievements in eight years as an excellent CEO of UKTV. His leadership of the company has created significant value for UKTV’s shareholders: overseeing a vibrant portfolio of channel brands, bringing in successful new commissions complementary to UKTV’s BBC content and delivering consistently strong impacts and financial performance. He will leave UKTV in extremely good health, with a great team at all levels and he will take our very best wishes this summer for his own next move.”