ITV was plunged into organisational chaos last week by the collapse of its attempts to bring in former BSkyB boss Tony Ball as chief executive and the announcement executive chairman Michael Grade is stepping down at the end of the year. The Sunday Times said ITV's board began urgent talks at the weekend with Sir Crispin Davis, the former boss of Reed Elsevier, and Sir Michael Bishop, the airline entrepreneur who chaired Channel 4. Whoever the next chairman is, their first job will be to bring in a chief executive after talks broke down with Ball, reportedly over pay demands. The Sunday Telegraph claimed shareholders would block the appointment of Sir Crispin and The Sunday Times expected shareholders to 'demand a boardroom clear-out following the debacle'.
The Sunday Times said Grade's pledge to quit as soon as possible 'stunned the market', while recent events had left the group 'bereft of leadership'. The Independent on Sunday said shareholders were 'furious' over the Tony Ball affair, while the Mail on Sunday said the group was 'especially vulnerable to a bid'.
Who are the PR players?
Mark Gallagher has been director of group corporate affairs since 2007. Tulchan Communications is the firm's retained financial PR agency.
What happens next?
The appointment of a chairman is expected over the next few weeks. Then the exhaustive process of finding a suitable chief executive can start again. But shareholders are reported to be angry at how the leadership situation has spiralled out of control and some reports suggest private equity and trade buyers are now circling ITV. The broadcaster has a market value of £1.7bn, but a pension deficit of up to £1.6bn.
£25m - Five-year package ITV was prepared to pay Tony Ball.