Telegraph Media Group’s head of online advertising Gary Cole has upped sticks for ITV, where he becomes head of revenues for ITV.com and Friends Reunited. This has to be one of the most exciting and challenging positions in British digital media at the moment – ITV’s “turnaround plan”, unveiled in September, aims to treble the broadcaster’s online revenue from last year’s
£50 million £47 million to £150 million by 2010, with 75 percent coming from web display, video and local classified advertising. Cole replaces Vanessa Kent, who joined in April 2005 but who has left to return to her native Australia, says Brand Republic, which notes Cole boosted digital revenues 47 percent whilst at Telegraph.co.uk.
ITV (LSE: ITV) has also brought in CNN’s product development director Aaron Tighe for a new head of product development role, charged with adding new features to the website. Both hires will report to ITV.com MD Annelies van den Belt, with Cole also reporting to brand partnerships director Gary Knight. Interesting that Friends Reunited is named in Cole’s remit – the once-might, now-aging social network pulled in between £20 million and £25 million last year and will be a key revenue driver.