ITV chief tells staff to expect changes

Norman will 'accelerate the transformation' of the net

LONDON — The new chairman of ITV, Archie Norman, has said he wants the broadcaster to be “a very different business in three years’ time.”

In an email to staff, Norman, who started his new job Monday, announced he will launch a strategy review this month as he seeks to “accelerate the transformation” of the U.K.’s biggest private terrestrial web.

Warning that 2010 would be “another difficult year” for the under-performing broadcaster that ended last year on a high thanks to huge audiences for “The X Factor,” the new topper wrote that: “Our objective is to recreate the business so it can not just survive but prosper in the new media world.”

He said the company, hit hard by structural change and the economic downturn, was “now embarking on a program to accelerate the transformation of ITV.”

As part of this, we will build on our strengths, the ITV brand, great content, innovation and creativity to become once again a growth business. You will hear more about this in the months to come.”

In Blighty, Norman is best known for turning round the ailing U.K. supermarket Asda subsequently selling it to Wal-Mart.

At ITV, he faces some tough decisions, such as deciding whether or not to re-introduce a pay strategy at a company that has failed to diversify revenues beyond the core broadcasting business.

Norman said: “We know that ITV cannot remain as it is. ‘No change’ is not an option. We need to be a very different business in three years’ time.”

He added: “We need to continue to improve our content whilst living within our means on costs.”

One of Norman’s priorities is to appoint a new chief executive. At present ITV is being run by acting CEO John Cresswell.

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