Hunt named director of programs at Five


LONDON -- The RTL-owned Five channel has tapped BBC daytime head Jay Hunt as its new director of programs. He replaces Dan Chambers, who quit the broadcaster in the fall. Hunt, who takes up the post later this year, will report to Five managing director of content Lisa Opie.

As the BBC's current controller of daytime and early peak-time programming -- the British equivalent of access primetime -- Hunt is responsible for such shows as "Through Hell and High Water," "Wanted Down Under" and "Animal 24/7."

With a strong news and current affairs background, some may see Hunt as an odd fit for the U.K.'s smallest terrestrial broadcaster, an aggressively commercial network that is heavily dependent on such U.S. series as "CSI" and "House."

A former editor of the BBC's "One O'Clock News" and "Six O'Clock News," Hunt became controller of daytime in 2005 and added early peak responsibilities to her profile in March.

"I am thrilled we have been able to appoint an executive as creative, dynamic and energetic as Jay," Opie said. "Her record of success at the BBC speaks for itself, and I'm excited that one of the most astute operators in the business is becoming part of the Five team."

Hunt's predecessor Chambers left the broadcaster last fall, after Opie was hired to give Five a new programming focus. The channel saw its ratings slide for the first time in its history last year.

"I'm delighted to have been given this tremendous opportunity," Hunt said in a statement. "The prospect of building on Five's existing successful programming and taking the channel to the next phase of its development is irresistible."