Yesterday, Media Week revealed that staff at the public service broadcaster would be informed about the future structure of Channel Five this morning at 10am and it is expected Airey's departure will be announced during that meeting.
While full details of the announcement are being kept under wraps until staff have been informed, there are expected to be wide-ranging structural changes, including moves at senior management level.
Airey is understood to be leaving Five in several months for a role at the channel's former owner, European broadcaster RTL Group.
When questioned on the day of the sale (23 July), a spokesman for RTL denied Airey would take a role within the company.
However, RTL Group chief executive Gerhard Zeiler has always held Airey in high regard and is known to have felt she did very well in one of the toughest jobs in TV, managing the necessary restructuring and job cuts at Five as well as the recession and ad market.
Speculation over a move to TalkBack Thames, the RTL-owned production company, has been described as "premature" by those close to the matter, but with the chief executive's role currently vacant it would appear to be a definite option.
This morning's announcement will mark the first concrete proposals for the broadcaster since N&S owner Richard Desmond bought the channel from RTL Group for £103.5m last month.
While Five is expected to retain its own independent sales team, it is understood that commercial staff have already started to speak to media agencies about advertising opportunities spanning Five and Desmond’s print titles, including celebrity magazine OK! and the Daily Star newspaper.
After a period of intense speculation, ownership of Five changed hands on 23 July as N&S owner Richard Desmond agreed to shoulder any regulatory responsibilities.
Dawn Airey CV
2008 Chair and chief executive, Five
2007 Managing director, global content, ITV
2007 Chief executive, Iostar
2006 Managing director, channels and services, BSkyB
2003 Managing director, Sky Networks
2000 Chief executive, Five
1996 Director of programmes, Five
1994 Controller of arts and entertainment, Channel 4
1993 Controller of networked children's and daytime, ITV
1985 Management trainee, Central TV