ITV chairman considers pay-TV model for digital channels

LONDON - Archie Norman, the new chairman of ITV, is considering plans to charge for the broadcaster's spin-off digital channels ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4, according to newspaper reports.

Despite Norman not joining the company until January, a number of weekend press reports hinted at the direction in which he is preparing to take ITV.

The Mail on Sunday quoted unnamed City sources as saying Norman believed it was imperative that ITV changed from a free-to-air business, though ITV1 is likely to be unaffected.

The Sunday Times also covered the pay-TV shift, but more tentatively, saying Norman is expected to look again at plans to take ITV back into the pay-TV world.

The newspaper also reported the pay-TV idea has been considered by John Cresswell, the company's long-serving chief operating officer who will become its interim chief executive when Norman takes charge.

Cresswell may also re-enter contention for the vacant chief executive post, according to The Guardian. In October, amid the company's chaotic search for a chairman and chief executive and after missing out on the role, it was announced Cresswell would leave the company once a permanent chief executive was appointed.

Norman is expected to retain ITV's production arm and conduct a shake-up of the boardroom.

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