Michael Grade to become chair of ITV

Well, that one came out of left field, didn’t it?

ITV has been in a lot of well-publicised trouble this last few years. From a lack of direction at the top, to declining ratings, to critical savagings, to several failed takeovers, things have been going from bad to worse for what is still the only real contender to the publicly-funded BBC. Which has itself been undergoing a renaissance over the last few years, shining a light onto ITV’s current weaknesses.

One of which has been the lack of a Chief Executive.

Well, it looks as if Christmas has come early for ITV, as today news broke that Michael Grade has defected from the BBC for, ooh, ten times what he was earning, a large packet of shares, and the ability to be more hands-on in the world of television again.

This news gives ITV a fighting chance to regain its position, and – here’s the clever bit – also deprives the BBC of one of its big guns just before an extremely tricky negotiation with the government over the licence fee settlement.

It’s a beautiful coup. Well done.

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