Charles Allen tapped for Virgin Media board

Former ITV chief named nonexecutive director

LONDON -- Former ITV chief executive Charles Allen is joining British cable group Virgin Media as a nonexecutive director.

Wednesday's announcement, which comes two days after Allen was named non-executive director at Mediaset-owned Endemol, signals a return to the broadcasting sector for the man who stepped down from the British commercial broadcaster at the end of 2006.

Allen, currently non-executive chairman of Global Radio in the U.K., recently led a successful takeover of ailing commercial radio rival Gcap, a move that has led some investors to suggest Allen might have similar ambitions for ITV.

"Charles has showed with Global that investors in media businesses will sell out in the current market at the right price," one senior investment analyst said.

Just months after Allen stepped down from ITV under pressure from investors due to the broadcaster's underperformance, Virgin Media mounted a merger bid for ITV, only to fail when BSkyB's then-chief executive James Murdoch acquired 17.9% of ITV's stock.