On reading the reports, Chiles lashed out, saying: 'We were assured we could go with our dignity intact.' ITV's response finally came a week later in the form of an official statement. 'ITV has mutually agreed with Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley that they will step down,' it said.
HOW I SEE IT - FIONA HUGHES, HEAD OF CONSUMER, FIREFLY
The series of negative stories that came out of ITV's Daybreak was enough to make any PR professional cringe in sympathy. The recent scandal of the double beheading of Christine Bleakley and Adrian Chiles was the casebook way of how not to handle the communication of a staff departure.
The PR industry's mantra on breaking news is to 'tell it all, tell it fast, tell it now'. But it took ITV a week to confirm the departures.
The presenters' career moves could have been more positively messaged, and the show's reputation less scarred. ITV's handling led to Christine Bleakley and Adrian Chiles publicly criticising their employers; Bleakley on Twitter, where she has 53,000 followers.
Another disappointing comms result for Daybreak. Maybe the arrival of new presenters should be preceded by a new comms strategy? - MISS.