ITV has unveiled plans for a major restructure, which will increase the British broadcaster’s focus on streaming and result in “leaner” operations and job cuts.
Under the plans, announced to staff on Monday, ITV will create a media and entertainment division that will sit alongside ITV Studios. Within this new division — which will be operational by March next year — will sit two sub-divisions: broadcast and on-demand.
The new unit will be led by director of television, Kevin Lygo, who will become ITV’s managing director of media and entertainment. Lygo will also head up the broadcast sub-division, while ITV’s CMO Rufus Radcliffe will lead on-demand, reporting to Lygo.
ITV said the restructure will enable it to “better reflect and serve changing viewing habits,” with online commissioning being increased. The new division will house all of its TV channels, as well as streamers ITV Hub and BritBox, ITV’s joint-venture with the BBC.
Just like ITV Studios, ITV’s media and entertainment unit will have its own profit and loss account. Support operations for media and entertainment will be “leaner,” ITV said, and Deadline understands that job losses are an inevitability.
It comes against the backdrop of the pandemic, which has accelerated changes in viewing habits and put a significant dent in ITV’s sales. ITV’s total group revenue in the first six months of 2020 dropped to 17% £1.45BN ($1.9BN) amid ad market jitters and production shutdowns.
ITV CEO Carolyn McCall said: “Our new media and entertainment division will enable ITV to continue to deliver mass, live audiences while investing in the future to create the sort of content and viewing experience that younger, and other harder to reach viewers want.
“ITV will continue to broadcast shows which entertain millions of viewers. Most are watched live and that fact together with the scale of these audiences will continue to offer unrivalled opportunities for brands to reach consumers. Linear channels will be around and be profitable for many years but we also need an on-demand business which will increasingly be the focus of our new investments in content and technology and which will be our growth engine attracting younger and more targeted audiences to ITV.”
As part of the changes, ITV said it would reduce its London office space over the coming years, though it said that no decision had been made over whether it will move out its existing headquarters. ITV is also recruiting for a new marketing chief to replace Radcliffe and a chief operations officer for the media and entertainment unit.
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