Peter Fincham is stepping down as ITV’s director of television after eight years and will be replaced by ITV Studios boss Kevin Lygo.
The changes will come into effect on 1 February and although it is Fincham’s own decision, it follows recent speculation that ITV chief executive Adam Crozier has been keen to refresh the commercial broadcaster’s commissioning team.
Former BBC1 controller Fincham joined ITV in May 2008, replacing Simon Shaps. He helped usher in a creative renaissance, but ITV’s on-screen progress has stalled in the past two years and the broadcaster has posted ratings declines.
Fincham handed in his notice in September and Crozier said he had led a “brilliant creative transformation” at the commercial broadcaster.
The chief executive added: “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.”
Lygo will step up to the commissioning floor of ITV’s Southbank headquarters after being managing director of ITV Studios for five years. He will be replaced at the production business by UK managing director Julian Bellamy.
“We are fortunate to have some of the best creative talent in the industry at ITV and that has enabled us to put in place a seamless succession plan,” Crozier said. “He is perfectly placed to lead the commissioning team as we enter this next exciting phase.”
Fincham could return to indie sector
Fincham said that after 11 years of being a channel controller it was “time to do something different” and hinted that he could 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,” he added.
“I’ll miss ITV and I won’t deny that director of television at ITV is a hard job to leave, but it’s somebody else’s turn and I wish Kevin the very best of luck - I’m sure he will do it brilliantly.”
News of Fincham’s departure comes just days after it was reported that Archie Norman will step down as ITV chairman.
FINCHAM FACT FILE
- February 2008-present: director of television, channels and online, ITV;
- 2005-2007: controller, BBC1;
- 2002-2005: chief executive, Talkback Thames;
- 1986-2002: managing director, Talkback Productions
Education: Tonbridge school; Cambridge University