ITV has reportedly hired a headhunter to help with long-term succession planning at the broadcaster for Scots-born chief executive Adam Crozier and group finance chief, Ian Griffiths.
The maker of the hit period drama Downton Abbey and the X Factor is said to have brought in Spencer Stuart to work on the project, even though it is understood there is no suggestion of any imminent departure of the pair. It is believed the headhunter will report to ITV chairman Sir Peter Bazalgette.
Crozier, a former chief executive at the English Football Association and Royal Mail, is approaching his seventh year in the ITV job and is seen as having achieved notable success in lessening the broadcaster’s reliance on advertising income through more focus on its production arm.
However, last November he warned that the advertising climate was becoming tougher amid recent “political and economic uncertainty” – widely taken to mean the Brexit vote and an expected slowdown in the UK economy in 2017.
ITV said in its trading statement then that advertisement revenues slid 4 per cent in Q3 and were expected to tumble 7 per cent in the final three months of the year, as Crozier referred to “more cautious behaviour by advertisers”.
Last month, broadcaster STV agreed an extended deal with ITV over advertising and sponsorship sales. Their airtime sales agreement, which has been in place since 2000, has been extended from a rolling five-year term to an eight-year term.