Cresswell to become interim ITV chief before leaving the broadcaster

LONDON - ITV's quest to fill its two top jobs has taken a twist with the announcement that John Cresswell will be appointed interim chief executive before leaving the company when a permanent chief executive is found.

Cresswell, currently chief operating officer, will not take the interim chief executive post until ITV has appointed a new chairman to replace outgoing executive chairman Michael Grade.

Since Michael Grade announced in April that he wanted to step down from his role as chief executive when a successor was found, and just last week that he would also depart from his position as chairman, ITV has been on a protracted mission to replace him. 

Tony Ball had been in line to replace Grade as chief executive but talks broke down at the last minute.

However, Cresswell does not want the role on a permanent basis and has informed the company that he plans to leave when a new chief executive is appointed.

Sir Michael Bishop, meanwhile, has ruled himself out as a possible replacement for Grade as chairman.

Bishop, a former chairman of Channel 4, was the second favoured candidate to drop his interest in becoming ITV chairman after Sir Crispin Davies, the former chief executive of Reed Elsevier, declined the role last week.

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