Granada chief exec may be ready to ankle

LONDON — Granada is set to unveil a top level management shake-up that will include the early retirement of chief exec Steve Morrison, who has been with the ITV company for nearly three decades.

ITV, the U.K.’s biggest commercial web, has been stung by the continuing downturn in Britain’s advertising market, as well as the demise of paybox ITV Digital, the joint venture between Granada and fellow ITV company Carlton Communications.

Morrison, 54, is highly-regarded as a programming exec, but has been criticized for his handling of Granada’s other business.

His departure, if confirmed, will strengthen the hand of Granada executive chairman Charles Allen, who is said to be taking on many of Morrison’s duties.

Also in the pipeline is the appointment of a deputy chairman as a counterpoint to Allen’s increasing control of the company, which is expected to merge with Carlton.

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