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ITV seeks new chair; Richard Sharp appointment confirmed at BBC

Peter Bazalgaette

UK broadcaster ITV has reportedly started searching for a new chairman, with Sir Peter Bazalgaette set to step down in 2022.

According to a report from Sky News, ITV’s nominations committee has kicked off a recruitment drive to be overseen by executive search firm Spencer Stuart.

The chairman is expected to step down when his term expires in May 2022, ending a six-year stint as the broadcaster’s chairman and nine years on ITV’s board. Prior to ITV, Bazalgaette was the chief creative officer at Endemol.

The report also claims that a number of ITV’s shareholders are disappointed that Bazalgaette has been ‘timed out’ by a corporate governance code which rules that chairs are no longer independent after nine years in total on a board.

ITV is yet to comment on the news

BBC chairman confirmed

As ITV looks for its new chair, the BBC has its new appointee.

Richard Sharp, a former Goldman Sachs banker and advisor to Tory chancellor Rishi Sunak, was touted as a replacement for the outgoing Sir David Clementi earlier this month and now his appointment has been approved by MPs in the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee.

While there were initial fears over Sharp’s lack of industry experience, the MPs said that they were impressed by his understanding of the business and the BBC’s need to compete in a changing media landscape.

Richard Sharp

DCMS Committee chair Julian Knight MP, said: “Richard Sharp impressed the DCMS Committee with his understanding of how the BBC needs to compete and perform while delivering public service value in a changing media world. We wish him well in the challenges ahead. We have outstanding questions on equal pay at the BBC and it’s a matter of urgency that, as incoming Chair, he gets up to speed with these as quickly as possible and comes back to us with answers.”

Sharp will assume the role of BBC chair next month, with Clementi stepping down to make way.

In the wake of his confirmed appointment, Sharp has described the licence fee – an ongoing point of contention between the broadcaster and the government – as the “least worst way” of funding the BBC, but said that he has an “open mind” over its funding model.

At a time of significant political division in the country, critics of the appointment have raised concerns over Sharp’s overt ties to the Conservative party. He was previously the boss of now chancellor Rishi Sunak and Goldman Sachs and was an advisor to Boris Johnson as mayor of London.

He is also a major donor to the party, and donated more than £400,000 from 2001-10.

Tags: BBC, ITV

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