Acquisitions exec leaves gig at terrestrial giant

LONDON — Jay Kandola is ankling in June as head of acquisitions at beleaguered terrestrial giant ITV.

Execs have decided to focus on homegrown shows in an attempt to revive the flagging network, which recently posted an annual loss of £2.7 billion ($3.9 billion) and is instituting 600 staff cuts. 

Insiders say that Kandola had clashed with her boss, director of television Peter Fincham, over the importance that U.S. fare should be given in the schedules.

Now ITV plans to jettison the standalone acquisitions department and merge it with the digital channels division, eliminating Kandola’s role.

A new post overseeing acquisitions and digital channels, reporting to strategy topper David Bergg rather than to Fincham, is being planned.

It is understood that Kandola was given the opportunity to apply for the job but declined.

In a terse statement, ITV said that Kandola’s “departure comes as a result of acquisitions playing a lesser role on ITV in the coming years.”

Kandola, who was conspicuous by her absence at the recent Mip TV sales mart in Cannes, joined ITV three years ago from rival Channel Five, where she helped to acquire “CSI” and “House.” In a previous job at Channel 4, she brought “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost” to the U.K.

Her career also includes a stint working in acquisitions for the BBC.

ITV’s flagship web ITV1 airs very few U.S. skeins, but Kandola helped to persuade the channel’s execs to screen “Pushing Daisies” in primetime. It was the first American series to get this kind of exposure in more than a decade.

Digital channel ITV2, one of the broadcaster’s few success stories of late, gives much more prominence to U.S. shows, including the cult hit “Gossip Girl.”

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