Mr Huntingford — who briefly acted as executive chairman of Virgin Radio five years ago — succeeds John McGuckian, who was ousted earlier this year due to a perceived conflict of interests regarding his non-executive director role at Dublin-based investment firm, TVC Holdings — which owns an 18% stake in UTV.
That episode ultimately resulted in TVC withdrawing its representation on the UTV board, with the Dublin firm’s executive chairman, Shane Reihill, also resigning as a non-executive director of the Belfast broadcasting and media group.
At its recent AGM, TVC was tight-lipped over the future of its shareholding in UTV, only saying that it will consider all options regarding the investment.
UTV board member, Helen Kirkpatrick — who has been acting as interim chairman since February — said Mr Huntingford’s appointment followed “a very thorough recruitment process in recent months”.
“Richard has enjoyed a highly distinguished career in the media sector and has extensive plc board experience as a non-executive director and chairman, making him an excellent choice to lead the UTV board,” she said.
Mr Huntingford said UTV was a company “I have always admired for its achievements”.