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Cresswell, Fincham linked to ITV CEO post

Internal candidates for the ITV CEO role include current COO John Cresswell and current director of television Peter Fincham. The UK commercial broadcaster ITV has started looking for a new CEO following the news that Michael Grade will relinquish the position later this year.

Grade, a former chief executive of Channel 4 and BBC chairman, is currently chairman and CEO of ITV, which has seen its profits crash as the TV advertising market contracts. Several regulatory reviews will be complete at the end of the year and ITV said that prompted the timing of Grade’s departure.

In a statement to the UK Stock Exchange ITV said: “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.”

Pact, the association for UK producers, welcomed the move.

Pact CEO John McVay said: “The interest of ITV and independent producers have, for much of Michael Grade’s tenure, not been aligned. This is the opportunity to consign this to history and look forward to future where everyone can be rewarded for success.”

ITV also confirmed it will sell its SDN multiplex business and that it has arranged a further £58 million (US$84.4 million) of debt financing. The new debt means there is no need for a rights issue, ITV said. Separately, rumors linking Berlusconi-family controlled Italian media company Mediaset to ITV have resurfaced.