With ITV under fire, chief Plantin quits

LONDON — One of the most powerful execs in British television, ITV network director Marcus Plantin, will step down in the fall after five years on the job.

Plantin’s departure has long been anticipated due to increasing pressure on the terrestrial net from competitors — such as the new terrestrial Channel 5 — and the perception that Plantin has not done enough to protect ITV’s audience share.

Plantin has been in charge of national commissioning and scheduling for the 15 ITV network companies, which commission and sked their region-specific programming separately.

The ITC, Britain’s commercial TV regulatory authority, recently criticized Plantin indirectly for skedding too many dramas and soap operas at the expense of lighter entertainment in primetime.

ITV is undergoing a restructuring that will see the appointment of a chief exec — a position that doesn’t exist at the net now — within a few months. It is unclear whether the position of network director will exist after restructuring. Plantin has not disclosed his future plans.

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