ITV ‘preps for end of Crozier era’

UK broadcaster ITV is preparing for life after CEO Adam Crozier, though TBI understands there is no imminent exit forthcoming.

Adam CrozierThe commercial network has reportedly hired headhunters to search for “long-term options” to replace Crozier and group finance chief Ian Griffiths.

Sky News, which broke the story over the weekend, reported that London-based consulting firm Spencer Stuart’s mandate was not to replace either exec, but to find alternatives should the long-serving pair exit.

As such, ITV’s chairman, Peter Bazalgette, reportedly hired the firm to lead the search as a safeguard measure and standard succession planning.

Sky sources said neither Crozier nor Griffiths have indicated potential departure dates.

Crozier replaced Michael Grade as CEO of ITV in 2010, and is widely credited with putting in place a model that has seen the broadcaster become less reliant on unstable TV advertising revenues and more on international distribution and production. This led to a gradual increase in company share price, with Grittiths credited with building revenues and profits.

Griffiths has been CFO since 2008.

Shares fell sharply after the UK voted to exit the European Union on June last year, but they have since rallied and currently sit at £2.06 (US$2.56). However, in October, Crozier indicated he would find £25 million in cost savings, which included job cuts, amid market uncertainty.

Meanwhile, with the value of the pound down after Brexit, many analysts and commentators expect ITV to be the subject of a takeover approach by a larger media group, with its biggest shareholder, Liberty Global, one name continually linked to a deal.

ITV declined to comment.