For its part, ITV says Sampson, the foppish, friendly face of the broadcaster, does have a role. This may not be for much longer, though. The TV trade body Thinkbox is searching for a full-time chief executive and Sampson, its chairman, is working on drafting the job spec.
ITV is said to be keen to push Sampson forward for the role - it would certainly save on his salary and would also put in place a man with experience of building the image of both television and radio.
However, any appointment has to be ratified by the eight-strong Thinkbox board, some of whom might be uncomfortable with a former ITV man at the helm. Expect some lively discussions before an appointment is announced.