LONDON — ITV’s director of television Peter Fincham is to step down after almost eight years at the U.K. commercial broadcaster, and will be succeeded by Kevin Lygo, currently managing director of production unit ITV Studios, ITV said Monday. According to an unconfirmed report, ITV chairman Archie Norman is about to quit the broadcaster as well.
Julian Bellamy, managing director of ITV Studios in the U.K., will move up to replace Lygo. David McGraynor, ITV Studios finance director, will take on the new role of chief finance and operating officer of the Studios division.
Lygo was director of television at Channel 4 from 2003 to 2010 when he was brought in by ITV chief executive Adam Crozier to run ITV Studios. He also spent two years at Channel Five from 2001 to 2003, and prior to that was Channel 4’s head of entertainment.
Bellamy spent three years at Discovery Networks Intl. as creative director and head of commissioning before joining ITV Studios as managing director of the U.K. business in 2014. From 2007 to 2010, he was head of programming at Channel 4, and prior to that he ran BBC3 and E4. He also spent time as Channel 4’s head of factual entertainment and was commissioning editor of Channel 4 news and current affairs.
Lygo and Bellamy will begin their new roles on Feb. 1 with Fincham remaining at ITV until the end of March to complete the handover process.
Crozier said: “Peter came to see me in September to say that he wanted to step down and whilst I am sorry to see him leave, eight years is a long time and I fully respect his desire for a new challenge. He and I have worked closely together since I joined ITV and he has been a great creative partner and has led a brilliant creative transformation of ITV’s programming, launching some of the biggest shows on British television.”
Fincham’s commissions at ITV have included hit dramas “Downton Abbey,” “Broadchurch,” “Cilla” and “The Lost Honor of Christopher Jefferies.” Prior to joining ITV, he was controller of the BBC’s flagship channel, BBC One. He began his broadcasting career as a producer in 1985 at Talkback Productions. He became managing director of the company a year later, and executive produced many of its biggest shows, including “Smack the Pony,” “Da Ali G Show,” “Never Mind the Buzzcocks” and “I’m Alan Partridge.”
Fincham said: “I haven’t made any firm plans for the future yet, but I wouldn’t rule out a return to the indie sector — I ran TalkBack for a lot longer than I’ve been on the broadcasting side and that indie heart has never quite stopped beating.”
According to Sky News, Norman is set to leave after six years as chairman of ITV. Norman, who is a former chief executive of food retail giant Asda, and a one-time politician with the Conservative Party, has reportedly told other board members he wishes to step down later this year.
ITV’s board includes former EMI chief Roger Faxon and Peter Bazalgette, the co-founder of “Big Brother” production company Endemol, who could be considered as front runners to replace Norman. ITV declined to comment.