LONDON — The ITV board is understood to have drawn up a shortlist of four candidates for the CEO job, following a meeting with headhunters.
The names believed to be on the list are ex-NTL topper Stephen Carter, who stepped down as chief executive of U.K. communications regulator Ofcom in July; Stewart Till, who is ankling at the end of the year as CEO of United Intl. Pictures; Richard Eyre, who ran ITV in the late 1990s; and Michael Jackson, the ex-Channel 4 CEO now working in New York as programming prexy at Internet giant IAC.
According to a report in the Financial Times, Jackson, who also was channel controller at both BBC1 and 2, is the favorite to land the post.
ITV is hunting for a CEO to replace Charles Allen, who finally gave in to stockholder pressure over the broadcasters’ poor performance and resigned in August.
There is growing pressure on ITV to make a decision soon and increasing frustration that a CEO may not be onboard in time to conduct crucial negotiations with advertisers over the winter program schedules.
ITV received more bad news Monday when it emerged that Friends Reunited, the British Web site for which it paid £120 million ($228 million) last year, was one of the sharpest decliners in a brand value index compiled by market researchers YouGov.