ITV’s director of television to step down

Peter Fincham

Peter Fincham

ITV’s director of television Peter Fincham is due to step down after eight years at the company and will be replaced by Kevin Lygo, the UK broadcaster has confirmed.

Lygo takes on the post after five years at ITV’s international production division, ITV Studios. ITV Studios UK managing director Julian Bellamy will succeed Lygo as MD of ITV Studios (ITVS), while still looking after the UK studios business.

Furthermore, ITVS finance director David McGraynor will take on the new role of chief finance and operating officer.

The development is the latest top-level exit at a UK broadcaster, coming after BBC’s director of television, Danny Cohen, and Sky’s director of entertainment channels, Stuart Murphy, both left their posts last year.

The ITV changes take place on February 1, with Fincham remaining with the listed broadcaster until March to complete a handover.

“This is a personal decision that I have been thinking about for a good while,” said Fincham. “By the time I leave at Easter I will have been a channel controller at the BBC and ITV, amazing as it seems, for eleven years. Quite simply, it’s time to do something different.”

Fincham joined ITV as director of television in May 2008 and went on to commission shows such as Downton Abbey, Broadchurch and The Only Way is Essex.

Before ITV he was controller of BBC One, having first made his name in the 1980s as managing director of Talkback Productions, which is now part of FremantleMedia.

Lygo joined ITV from Channel 4, where he was director of television from 2003 to 2010. Meanwhile, new ITVS boss Bellamy joined ITVS UK in 2014 after three years at Discovery Networks International as creative director of commissioning. ITV CEO Crozier revealed Fincham had handed in his notice last September. “He and I have worked closely together since I joined ITV and he has been a great creative partner and has led a brilliant creative transformation of ITV’s programming, launching some of the biggest shows on British television,” said Crozier.

Fincham said of his next post: “I haven’t made any firm plans for the future yet, but I wouldn’t rule out a return to the indie sector – I ran TalkBack for a lot longer than I’ve been on the broadcasting side and that indie heart has never quite stopped beating.”

The news follows weekend reports that ITV chairman Archie Norman is planning to step after six years at the UK broadcaster. Sky News, which broke the story, reported that Norman has signalled to board colleagues that he plans to leave ITV later in the year and that ITV’s senior independent director Andy Haste is leading the search for his replacement.

Separately the Financial Times reported that ITV’s board is expected to begin a search to replace former Conservative politician Mr Norman in “the coming months”.

The FT claimed that ITV CEO is expected to remain in post for “at least two more years” amid the management shakeup.