GMTV to rebrand as Daybreak with Chiles and Bleakley

By Mark Banham, mediaweek.co.uk, Friday, 09 July 2010 02:59PM

ITV is to rebrand GMTV as Daybreak when former 'One Show' hosts Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakely join the broadcaster in September.

Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakely: move to ITV

Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakely: move to ITV

The rebrand will reflect the refresh of the network’s "creative renewal", according to ITV’s director of factual, daytime and GMTV, Alison Sharman.

She said: "Daybreak plays a key part in ITV’s ongoing transformation and reflects the fact that creative renewal lies at the heart of our schedule, which is being modernised and improved under Peter Fincham."

She added: "Since acquiring GMTV, we have carried out a thorough review and set out to transform and significantly invest in a business that had been lagging behind its competitors in recent years. Change, both on and off screen, is an essential part of the process in our bid to reclaim the top breakfast show spot."

It was announced yesterday that former BBC One controller Fincham would head up marketing at ITV on top of his head of television role in a change of tack at the commercial network that will see marketing fall under the remit of programming and not the commercial team at the broadcaster where it had previously sat.

Both Chiles and Bleakley have been through protracted contract wranglings with the BBC ever since the broadcaster announced that DJ and broadcaster Chris Evans would be taking the Friday presenter slot on the One Show unseating Chiles.

Chiles chose to leave the BBC at the end of his contract and it was announced in April that he was to join ITV one a four year contract, reputed to be worth £6m.

Bleakely announced that she was to leave the One Show and her BBC contract in June following a similar offer from GMTV and ITV to join her former host on the GMTV sofa.

However, an announcement from the BBC today confirmed that the broadcaster did not want her to see out the remaining three months of her contract with the broadcaster.

A statement from the BBC today said: "Following the BBC's decision to withdraw its offer of an extended contract to Christine Bleakley, we have agreed she will not be returning to The One Show.

"The BBC would like to take this opportunity to thank Christine for her contribution to the show and to wish her well."

The BBC is now conducting screen tests to bring in replacement female presenters to fill Bleakley’s role. Chiles has been replaced by comedian Jason Manford.

ITV took full control of GMTV in November last year. Both Chiles and Bleakley will work on other projects for ITV. Chiles has recently fronted ITV's coverage of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk

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