ITV to search for new chief after Grade steps down


ITV to search for new chief after Grade steps down
Michael Grade is to switch to a non-executive role at ITV, leaving the broadcaster to find a new chief executive.

The former BBC and Channel 4 boss joined ITV in November 2006 but has seen his tenure hampered by declining advertising revenues, premium rate telephone competition scandals and the impact of the recession.

In its statement, the broadcaster also said it believed it had adequate liquidity and had no current plans for a rights issue.

Having cut 1,600 jobs in the past year and announced plans to dispose of its Freeview business SDN, ITV also confirmed plans to raise an additional £58 million through covenant-free financing.

But in confirming Grade's move to non-executive chairman by the end of the year, a statement from the broadcaster said there were no current plans to sell shares.

"In the light of the regulatory timetable now expected, Michael Grade has recommended to the board that the conclusion of the regulatory reviews will be the right time for him to relinquish his executive responsibilities and become non-executive chairman, as planned," the statement read.

"The board has agreed with this recommendation and accordingly will now commence a formal search for the next CEO.

"It is intended that a new CEO will be appointed as soon as practicable following the outcome of the CRR regulatory review process and, in any event, no later than the end of 2009."

Grade, 66, became Controller of Programmes at BBC1 in 1984, moving to Director of Programmes in 1986 and Managing Director Designate the following year.

He returned to commercial television as chief executive of Channel 4 in 1988, leaving after nine years, before chairing the BBC Board of Governors from 2004 to 2006.

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