"I am privileged to be given the chance to pursue another great passion" ... Russell Howcroft.

"I am privileged to be given the chance to pursue another great passion" ... Russell Howcroft. Photo: Wayne Taylor

Russel Howcroft, well known as a panellist on ABC’s Gruen Transfer, will join Network Ten as executive general manager at the beginning of next year.

Mr Howcroft, currently chief executive of Young & Rubicam Brands, will leave the advertiser in January to join Ten in February.

“Russel is a great leader and one of the most outstanding advertising executives in Australia. We are very pleased he is joining Network Ten,’’ said Network Ten’s chief executive James Warburton.

Mr Howcroft will be based in Melbourne and will oversee Network Ten's operations in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

“After 24 years of working for some of the best agencies, in the world, I am privileged to be given the chance to pursue another great passion. Television is a very powerful and engaging medium and my experience over the past few years have fuelled my desire to work within the television business,’’ said Mr Howcroft.

Ten shares are up 1 cent at 36 cents, hovering just above an all-time low of 35 cents.