ITV revamp likely as Plantin leaves

Critics of ITV’s falling audiences and rising airtime costs were this week calling for a shake-up at the Network Centre in the wake of the resignation of its director, Marcus Plantin.

Critics of ITV’s falling audiences and rising airtime costs were

this week calling for a shake-up at the Network Centre in the wake of

the resignation of its director, Marcus Plantin.



Plantin’s surprise decision to step down comes after five years in the

job. He was appointed as ITV’s first network director in 1992 and is

expected to leave the Network Centre in the autumn.



Plantin has been the focal point for recent criticism over the continued

slump in ITV’s audiences and this week described his job as ’challenging

and demanding’.



As well as coming under fire from media buyers and advertisers for its

audience performance, ITV was also attacked by the Independent

Television Commission last month for relying too heavily on drama

programming.



Edward Lloyd Barnes, a director of the Negotiation Centre, said that

while Plantin must take responsibility for ITV’s ratings performance, he

also leaves behind some real achievements.



’Marcus has done the sensible thing,’ Lloyd Barnes said. ’Audiences are

falling and this really needs addressing. He’s turned ITV drama into a

much-respected product but he’s taken ITV as far as he can. It’s time

now for someone who is going to captivate the youth audience,

particularly in prime time.’



Plantin said: ’I will leave the channel in good shape with its sport

reinvigorated, its drama hitting more bullseyes than ever and the vital

peak-time share up.’



He leaves ITV at a crucial time for the Network Centre. A search is

under way for a chief executive of what is expected to become ITV Ltd,

and a top-level marketing appointment is also on the agenda. It is

possible that the new chief executive will take on commissioning and

scheduling responsibilities and that Plantin will not be directly

replaced.



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