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29/08/2002

Morrison resignation could clear way for ITV merger

Steve Morrison, chief executive of the ITV broadcasting giant Granada, has resigned.
He will leave the company at the end of September, allowing chairman Charles Allen to take a more active role and lead the business.
Mr Morrison's departure had been widely predicted and his is the second high-profile ITV departure since Stuart Prebble, who ran the doomed ITV Digital, resigned as ITV chief executive in May.
Mr Morrison had also been criticised for the failure of merger talks between Granada and Carlton, which insiders link to a lack of clarity over what position, if any, he would occupy in any new conglomerate.
Responding to the resignation, Charles Allen hinted that a merger between the two big ITV companies might now be closer.
In a statement he said the management changes positioned Granada to: "take advantage of consolidation and other opportunities made possible through new legislation."
In a statement issued with his resignation Mr Morrison said: "Twenty-eight years at Granada is a very good innings and now I would like to turn my hand to something new."
Mr Morrison is not being directly replaced as chief executive, but broadcasting luminary and former ITC Chairman Sir George Russell will join Granada as non-executive deputy chairman.
(GB)
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