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ITV gets new chairman and restructures UK production business

ITV has appointed Archie Norman as its new chairman. The UK free-to-air broadcaster has spent seven months finding a successor to outgoing chairman Michael Grade and is still looking for a CEO.

Norman is a former Conservative Party Member of Parliament and built his reputation as a businessman by rejuvenating the fortunes of supermarket chain Asda in the 1990s before it was sold to Wal-Mart. Norman will receive a £300,000 salary and 1.2 million ITV shares over three years.

Separately, ITV’s content arm, ITV Studios, is overhauling its UK production business.

ITV Studios managing director Lee Bartlett is proposing a wide-ranging restructure of the UK business that would see factual and factual entertainment divisions merged. ITV stressed that the single Entertainment Group would have the same headcount and development budget as its predecessors.

The Entertainment Group will be part of a new structure and become one of four content groups. The other three will be Factual, Scripted and Daytime. Each will have a UK and an international focus and be headed by a creative director (formerly called genre controllers). ITV has also created a new role: international formats production executive.

ITV said that the changes only impact its UK production businesses and that its international operations, which include ITV USA, Silverback and Granada Germany, remain unchanged.

The changes will lead to some job losses. It’s understood these will amount to less than 1% of ITV’s 2,200-strong workforce.