Mansfield and Parry tipped for top ITV post after merger

LONDON - David Mansfield and Roger Parry, the chief executives of Capital Radio and Clear Channel respectively, have emerged as potential candidates for ITV's chief executive role, should the Carlton and Granada merger go through.

Questions over the ability of the Granada chairman, Charles Allen, and the Carlton Communications chief executive, Michael Green, to manage a single ITV have intensified in recent weeks with investors calling for a heavyweight candidate with proven skills to take over the company.

When the merger was announced, it was decided that Allen would take the chief executive job while Green would become the chairman post-merger.

But this idea has failed to impress the City, which remembers their involvement in the £1.2bn ITV Digital debacle and has been underwhelmed by ad revenues.

"ITV needs a chief executive who commands respect from investors," one media analyst said.

Granada and Carlton have been wheeling out senior non-executives to meet investors in a bid to assuage City fears. However, one analyst said he doubted that this would be enough and that it was expected Green would step down once the merger had gone through, with an outsider appointed to run ITV.

Parry said he had been aware of the rumours but had not been offered the job. He refused to rule himself out of the running should the opportunity arise. "It's a hypothetical question, that is all I am saying," he said. Mansfield was unavailable for comment.

Green has threatened to pull the plug on the merger if the two ITV companies are forced to spin off their advertising sales houses.

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