BSkyB has poached ITV’s head of scheduling, David Bergg, and handed
him the job of general manager of Sky One.
Bergg, who many in the industry believe should share the credit with the
ITV triumvirate, Richard Eyre, David Liddiment and John Hardie, for
successful changes to the ITV schedule, will join the company in the new
year. He will report to Mark Sharman, director of broadcasting.
Bergg’s appointment completes a new management structure at Sky. He will
take over responsibility for Sky One from James Baker, who will now
concentrate on the development of Sky’s production businesses, Sky
Picture and Sky Productions.
Bergg was the first person recruited by ITV’s director of programming,
David Liddiment, in September 1997. In the intervening two years,
Liddiment and Bergg created an aggressive new approach to scheduling at
Network Centre. Series that failed to deliver sufficient audiences were
swiftly taken off the air or moved to the outer reaches of the schedule.
In addition, Bergg occasionally risked the anger of the media industry
by changing schedules at the last minute in a bid to wrong-foot ITV’s
ITV has moved swiftly to fill his shoes and has handed Bergg’s former
job, director of planning and strategy, to Julia Lamaison, the director
of broadcasting at ITV2.
Meanwhile, his appointment is being celebrated as something of a coup
for Sky One. ’I have followed David’s career closely over the past few
years, and I have been keen to get him on my team for some time,’
Elisabeth Murdoch, managing director at Sky Networks, said.