CEO nabs content chief; Bartlett moves sideways

LONDON — The new head of terrestrial giant ITV, Adam Crozier, who arrived at the broadcaster April 26, has made his first big appointment.

Kevin Lygo, Channel 4’s director of television and content, will run the web’s under-performing production biz, as managing director of ITV Studios.

The move means a sideways shift for Lee Bartlett, the U.S. executive who joined ITV from Fox Broadcasting two years ago.

He takes over as head of the firm’s international production operation.

Lygo was widely expected to jump ship ever since Channel 4’s new CEO, David Abraham, was appointed in January.

He applied but failed to land the top job himself.

With Abraham starting at Channel 4 next week, Lygo, one of the hybrid pubcaster’s most highly remunerated toppers, looks to have concluded his negotiations with ITV in the nick of time.

He is known for his light-hearted persona and joked to staff about his departure in an internal email.

Lygo said: “I wish I could run through the building pleasuring every one of you individually before I leave. In fact there may still be time. Keep an eye out for me.”

More seriously, the new regime at ITV has made no secret of its determination to re-ignite its production arm having lost key creative types like drama and film producer Andy Harries to the indie sector following bruising cost cuts.

Crozier said: “Kevin’s appointment underlines our commitment to ensuring home-grown content stays at the heart of our business and our focus on attracting the very best creative talent, both on- and off-screen, to ITV.”

Lygo said that his goal for ITV Studios, which needs to make more shows for its own webs and increase revenue from its global activities, was to keep successful fare like “Hell’s Kitchen” “fresh and relevant, develop new hits and exploit the full value of those properties across all platforms in the U.K. and internationally.”

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