Media Lifeline: ITV sales

Gary Digby is the latest high-profile victim of bloodletting at the network.

December 2003: As ITV plc is formed by the merger of Carlton and Granada, Graham Duff, formerly the Granada Enterprises chief, is named the managing director of sales - and he appoints Gary Digby, formerly the Carlton sales chief, as his sales director.

September 2005: Following a period of corporate infighting, there's blood on the boardroom carpet when the ITV chief executive, Charles Allen, wields his axe - and Duff is one of the casualties.

In a new structure, the broadcast boss, Ian McCulloch, moves sideways to become the commercial director - but Digby survives as airtime sales boss.

September 2007: McCulloch had, in turn, moved on when Michael Grade replaced Allen as the top man at ITV. After a hiatus (all summer long), a successor is eventually found in the form of Rupert Howell, a former adman and a long-term friend of Grade's. Despite immediate speculation that Howell and Digby don't see eye-to-eye, Digby survives once more.

June 2010: Grade had departed for pastures new at the end of 2009, to be succeeded by another former adman, Adam Crozier. And, as night follows day, there being room at ITV for only one former adman, Howell is invited to explore new career options. He is replaced by the former Capital Radio boss Fru Hazlitt in a revamped online and commercial role.

January 2011: Again, there had been speculation that Digby's days were numbered under his new boss. He lasts six months - but is eventually defenestrated along with several other veteran sales executives. His successor is the ex-Channel 5 sales boss Kelly Williams.

Fast forward ...

November 2011: But when Hazlitt leaves to form a "transformational" management dream team alongside Dawn Airey at MySpace, and with the annual airtime negotiation season looming, ITV acts decisively to bolster its commercial team. Williams becomes the commercial director and drafts in Martin Bowley (formerly of Carlton) and Matt Shreeve (formerly of Channel 4), each working on a part-time basis to help seal the big deals.

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