Bectu applauds Allen’s ITV departure

Liz Thomas

He has yet to officially confirm his resignation but already ITV’s biggest union Bectu has welcomed news that chief executive Charles Allen is set to stand down at August 9′s board meeting.

It is understood Allen will offer to go next week after months of speculation over his future amidst the network’s poor advertising and ratings performance. ITV chairman Peter Burt is likely to confirm the news next week.

Bectu welcomed Allen’s departure arguing that during his tenure he had axed close to 4,000 jobs, many in programme-making and technical areas.

Assistant general secretary Gerry Morrissey said: “Charles Allen came to ITV with a reputation of being a cost-cutter and during his time in charge he has lived up to that reputation. However, rather than investing the money in quality programme-making he has instead made it available as dividends for shareholders.

“He has also not known when to stop making cuts and his lack of a programme-making background has resulted in a significant drop in ITV audience share.”

Allen will continue in his post until a suitable successor is found, and is likely to stay with the network until January. The search for his replacement likely to gather momentum in the coming weeks. Former Ofcom chief executive Stephen Carter has been tipped for the post.

However Bectu warned that whoever Allen’s successor was, they would “inherit a demoralised workforce who have ground down” by successive rounds of redundancies and cuts to programme budgets. We hope whoever succeeds him will reverse these policies and accept that the way to improve ITV’s position is to invest in programmes and in the staff that make them.”

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