Granada boss to pay ITV Digital price

LONDON – Granada chief executive Steven Morrison is set to leave the company in the next few weeks after much speculation about his future following the collapse of ITV Digital.

It had been thought that Morrison might depart when Granada released its interim results three weeks ago, but he managed to hang on, saying he had the support of Granada's shareholders.

But the pressure on him has continued to grow as investors look for someone to blame for the ITV Digital fiasco, which contributed to interim losses of £112m.

Morrison has the support of Granada chairman Charles Allen, but Allen has also been under fire. However, his job is thought to be much safer because he is the driving force of the planned merger with Carlton Communications, which will create a single ITV company and millions in cost savings.

Investors are angry that, despite losses on ITV Digital of £1bn and a potential £500m legal case with the Football League looming, the only head to roll has been that of ITV Digital chief executive Stuart Prebble who resigned following the closure of digital TV service.

Last month, it was reported that major shareholders in Granada, including the Capital Group, Barclays Bank and Legal & General, were said to want Allen to step down. Allen came under fire for trying to bury ITV Digital's problems by reigniting speculation about a merger between Carlton and Granada.

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