BBC entertainment commissioner Karl Warner and former E4 head Angela Jain are thought to be in the frame to lead ITV’s digital channels.

Applications for director of digital channels and acquisitions have now closed and others linked to the vacancy left by Zai Bennett include former Channel 4 head of programming Julian Bellamy and acting BBC3 controller Harry Lansdown.

ITV interim head of digital Emma Tennant is understood to have applied and has been tipped by some insiders as a strong candidate for the position. She will benefit from being controller of digital channels for more than five years, mainly focusing on ITV3, ITV4 and CITV.

Jain and Bellamy are currently out of work and both are senior execs with experience of running youth-skewing station E4, which may be considered a natural fit with ITV2, the jewel in the crown of the broadcaster’s multichannel line-up.

Warner and Lansdown both applied for the BBC3 controller role, eventually losing out to Bennett, who will join in April. Warner in particular has been tipped by some indies, having established the likes of Russell Howard’s Good News and Undercover Princesses on BBC3.

The new director will be tasked with continuing to bolster ITV2’s celebrity-led identity, overseeing shows including Celebrity Juice and 2010 hit The Only Way is Essex. ITV4’s male-skewing ambitions will also need to be refined, building on shows such as Freddie Flintoff Vs The World.