Paul Farrell is the new managing director of Virgin Media Television

Virgin Media Ireland executive will succeed Pat Kiely, who is leaving broadcaster in July

Paul Farrell has been appointed managing director of Virgin Media Television, succeeding Pat Kiely who is leaving the broadcaster in July.

Mr Farrell will work with Mr Kiely over the coming weeks to ensure a smooth handover of the business as it responds to the challenges posed by Covid-19.

From Artane in Dublin, Mr Farrell has for the past four years been vice-president of commercial at the broadcaster’s parent company, Virgin Media Ireland.

Before joining the broadband and pay-TV operator, he was director of brand and strategy for stockbroker Davy for two years, while he previously led media agency Initiative and IPG Mediabrands.

He is also a former commercial director of The Irish Times and a former marketing director of O2 Ireland.

Mr Farrell said Virgin Media Television was going “from strength to strength”.

“My priority will be to accelerate our progress of recent years and continue to invest in more of what we do best, including award-winning content, news, current affairs, sport and digital services.”

He will report to Virgin Media Ireland chief executive Tony Hanway, who said Mr Farrell was “ideally placed” to accelerate Virgin’s connected entertainment strategy.

‘Pass on the baton’

Mr Kiely announced last month that he would "pass on the baton" after 22 years at the broadcaster, which was until 2018 known as TV3 Group. He first joined as director of sales when the original TV3 channel was launched in 1998 and became managing director after Virgin Media Ireland acquired TV3 in 2015.

The Ballymount-based broadcaster, which now operates three free-to-air channels and Virgin Media Sport, employs about 300 people, most of whom are now working from home as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

Virgin Media Ireland is in turn owned by Liberty Global, the cable giant controlled by US billionaire John Malone.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics