Lifeline: ITV breakfast
Attempts by the broadcaster to transform its breakfast show have not gone entirely to plan.
November 2009: ITV takes full control of GMTV, buying out the only other shareholder, The Walt Disney Company. There's immediate speculation that there will be a wholesale clear-out of GMTV stalwarts - and this becomes inevitable when Adam Crozier joins as ITV's new chief executive in April 2010. GMTV targets housewives with kids - but Crozier is an admirer of the BBC's more upmarket (and slightly more metropolitan) breakfast offering.
July 2010: When Adrian Chiles, the host of the BBC's The One Show, falls out with the corporation, ITV's director of television, Peter Fincham, pounces. Not long after, Chiles' co-presenter, Christine Bleakley, is persuaded to jump ship too.
September 2010: Daybreak, as ITV's new breakfast show is now called, launches in a blizzard of hype in September - and initially the ratings look promising, with just over one million viewers compared with the BBC's 1.4 million. But Daybreak's figures are soon on the slide, slipping below 600,000 in October. Crucially, it's losing the housewives-with-kids audience that's so crucial for attracting advertising.
August 2011: Before Daybreak's launch, ITV management had slammed GMTV for being "lazy" - but, as the summer rolls on, it's clear that it's the new regime that has much to be modest about. At a conference, Fincham admits that Daybreak is still a work in progress - and, as he oversees ponderous efforts to restructure the show's production management, it is revealed that Daybreak's editor, Ian Rumsey, is to step down.
November 2011: The Daily Mirror reveals that Chiles and Bleakley are to be invited to vacate the Daybreak sofa. Media agencies move to counter suggestions that advertisers have demanded change. Speculation moves on to the topic of possible successors.
Fast forward ...
May 2012: The early betting had been on Eamonn Holmes. Holmes had quickly ruled himself out, having signed a golden handcuffs deal with Sky. But when Fincham's other ideas fall through (Natasha Kaplinsky and Chris Hollins, Alex Jones and James Jordan, Anthea Turner and her sister Wendy), he breaks the bank to prise Holmes loose from Sky in the biggest-ever talent deal signed in British television history.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk
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