Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Who Will Follow Michael Grade?

The news that Michael Grade is defecting to ITV is one of those things that is quite a shock but when you think about it you wonder why no one predicted it. It is all rather obvious really in retrospect. But all those learned people who write for The Guardian's media pages didn't see it coming. I suppose if he can't turn ITV round no one can, but my gut feeling is that ITV is a sinking ship and it's unsalvageable.

I've been trying to think who the frontrunners to succeed him as Chairman of the BBC might be. David Dimbleby has fancied the job in the past, but I am rather stuck for any more obvious names. Suggestions in Comments please!

65 comments:

permanent expat said...

Abu 'Hooky' Hamsa....tailor made for the job.

garypowell said...

Ah yes ITV yet another leftist media victim of the BBC to add to the ever growing list.

Only fitting that they should exchange employees on such a regular basis. It gives those sad chaps at ITV at least a chance of a pay rise and real political power one day.

MayorWatch said...

Dimbleby or David Attenborough would be my choice as it's unlikely Dyke would have a chance.

Yentob would be a good choice but I suspect he still hopes for a turn as DG.

After those dreadful apologies they gave following the Hutton Inquiry it can't be Ryder or Byford.

Martin said...

DK!

Anonymous said...

Why is the top part changing colors all the time? It's driving me bananas! Stay one color!

Ross F said...

Tony Blair will be looking for a new job soon.

My prediction is that the job will go to a wealthy Labour supporter in the media, I can't narrow it down beyond that.

Dave...no, not that one! said...

What's John Major doing these days? David Attenborough's got some experience in that field, could be a safe pair of hands. Oh, I've got it...John Craven! No? What about Peter Stothard? John Humphrys (oh God, please, no)? Andrew Neill? Anyone but Greg bloody Dyke would be acceptable, I suppose.

Robert Peston's Pregnant Pause said...

Well Fiona,

Michael Grade was er our Chief Executive... sorry... that's the BBC's Chief Executive... ha ha... as you know we must always refer to ourselves in the THIRD person.

Anyway, our... sorry... done it again... the BBC's Chief Executive, Michael Grade, is moving to ITV because, quite frankly, they're in a bit of a mess and he wants to sort it all because his uncle invented it you know.

They say he's going because it's in his BMA or MBA or something like that... ha ha... and not for the money which is about ten times what he's getting here...sorry...getting at the BBC.

They say that the suits upstairs are incandescent with rage whatever that means because we...sorry...they...sorry again...the BBC won't get the increase in the licence fee that we've...that THEY'VE asked for and that means fuzzy analogue reception in the Pennines till 2050 and fewer PC dramas about the sufferings of left handed lesbian muslims... ha ha.

Johnny Norfolk said...

I think he will have moved as he will have a free hand in trying to sort ITV out. I am sure it has not been easy at the Left leaning BBC, I think he has done the right thing and let the BBC stew in its own juice.

Sir Bentley Pauncefoot said...

Over on Guido's site, the holiday relief conspirator is suggesting T Blair, but I rather think John Prescott might bring the right degree of gravitas (assuming he can scrape it off his tie).

Of course, now that Polly Torybee has cross-party support...

Cranmer said...

Michael Portillo?

pete said...

Could a Dimbleby afford to take the cut in emoluments or would it be made up in various ways?

And would he be able to remain the chief protagonist of the show "Question Time" which has so long showcased the opinions of those that run it on the narrow range of issues for which they permit cover?

Wish I knew how to do bold or italics on these comments. Wanted one for 'show' & 'showcase'.

2br02b said...

The Great Communicator, surely: John Prescott

Rigger Mortice said...

even if it sinks he'll still be paid handsomely till it does.

no longer hold ITV shares so I cna slag em off--you sort of knew the writing was on the wall with the late night premium phone rate shows they put on.very channel 5.

and this with the beeb putting out more and better daytime slush like 'antique in da atickkk!!'

Grade will need a very fat forefinger to plug that .... boom boom

Maggie Thatcher fan said...

Anyone but Blair !

Chuck Unsworth said...

Yes, but why now? Maybe Grade is leaving before the bad news about the Charter and the Licence Fee gets out. Maybe Blair offered him a peerage to 'salvage' ITV...

Paul Linford said...

I've no doubt that Blair's next move will be to go and make some serious money on the US lecture circuit - but would John Major be interested?

bt said...

Perhaps Sainsbury heard a whisper that there soon might be a vacancy as the head of the ultimate qango - lots of prestige, money, influence, opportunities for political partiality - hence the apparently motiveless resignation from government.

OK, he's not steeped in the lore of broadcasting, but remember this is the Chairman's job, not the Director-General slot.

Payback time for the NuLab bankroller?

Anonymous said...

Lord Ali

Og said...

Simon Jenkins. Charles Moore. Kelvin Mackenzie. Jeff Randall. Frank Field. Kate Hoey. Rod Liddle. Boris. Ant 'n Dec. Og.

There's your shortlist.

Lagwolf said...

No one would be nice. But John Major sounds about right. Nice but ineffectual.

mark williams said...

It clearly should be someone from outside the world of politics, who is renowned for their disinterested concern for the general well-being of the nation, someone held in high regard by viewers and someone with a good understanding of the future of broadcast media, er ..... Cherie Blair.

AnyonebutBlair said...

Does anyone really give a toss?
I chuckled at the self-referential coverage on Today this morning whilst shaving and nearly took my nose off.
Given the utter dross that consitutes ITV he'll have his work cut out.....

Anonymous said...

Simon Jenkins?

Anonymous said...

Greg Dyke - The Return!

with the government well and truly on the ropes over Iraq (and just about everything else) a perfect time for Greg to make a comeback...

Failing that, Janet Street Porter...

http://apocalypsetimes.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I can't help thinking that Jeff Randall has the self-belief and ego required - and he had a head-start in preparing his cv and application ?

My view is that Michael Jackson is the man for the job - but could the beeb afford to lure him from the states ?

Anonymous said...

Bring Back Greg !!! He single handedly transformed the BBC and was well loved and respected. And he invented the Freeview platform. And rescued Match of the Day with a cunning tie-up with Sky. I know all this because I read it in the book 'Greg Dyke : My Story'..Greatly entertaining, and joking apart, he is very lucky as well as being a down-to-earth Lundun geezer.

P.s. did you know he also rescued TV:AM from certain disaster by dressing up as a cuddly rat, and renaming himself 'Roland'. That is what we need at the BBC - hands-on management.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what all this 'defecting' stuff is all about - surely he was only contracted to be with them until the end of the year ?

It is rather like complaining about footballers leaving in the last couple of weeks of a season, so that they can be with another team for the start of the next. Hardly 'judas' type stuff.

Cicero said...

"Of course, now that Polly Torybee has cross-party support..."

She bl**dy doesn't- this Lib Dem would certainly cross the road to avoid listening to her anti-liberal drivel. :-)

Anonymous said...

Scary Airey has been shortlisted.

machiavelli said...

I understand Lord Levy's looking for an honest source of income (for once!)...

Pogo said...

Why not Jonathon Porrit? The beeb seems to think that the sun shines from his fundamental orifice so he would be weel accepted by all there!

granpapapat said...

Roland Rat ?

Dr.Doom said...

Richard Branson would destroy many people's idea of safety and any thought of getting a nights sleep.

I would love him to take on Murdoch for Britain and honesty.

Doom.

PJ said...

One overpaid luvvy switches jobs. Why is this the top story today on the Beeb and in some of the papers?

Richard Bailey said...

I'd like Jeremy Clarkson.

Anonymous said...

NEWS FLASH - STOP PRESS - The AH news agency has just announced that the new BBC chairman will only have to work 4 days a week. This is because Rupert Murdoch will perform the role each Friday, to ensure a level playing field with his 20% control of ITV..

Anonymous said...

My nomination is Kelvin Mackenzie of the Wireless Group (and former editor of The Sun). He would clear out the PC crowd quickly.

Anonymous said...

Howabout David Puttnam?

David Boothroyd said...

Alistair Campbell. He'd put the BBC in order and no mistake.

PS: I am actually serious.

i spy strangers said...

You're confusing me with someone who's interested, Iain. I really get sick to death of the extended navel-gazing that the BBC indulges in whenever some overblown executive goes to ply his dubious trade elsewhere. Let's get on with some real news.

Def Con One said...

Andrew Gilligan and Alistair Campbell should have a fight for it

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Michael Portillo in frame for the Beeb job, the last time this happened - still a possibility??

And as someone who works for ITV, I have to disagree with your grave forecast

Anonymous said...

I did hear a rumour that he was pushed because he could not get me to pay the Licence fee. I do like Iain's loyalty to 18DS. No chance of defecting, even if they offered £5-7.5M? You could buy hell of a lot of Audis for this sum...

Tommy G said...

They could stick a rocket under their own arses and appoint David Elstein. That would be interesting.

They won't, of course.

verity said...

Why not everyone's new best friend, Polly Toynbee? Dave would have no objection as he apparently reveres her intellect and political nous.

Anonymous said...

Not another bloody arts graduate. They'll never work out how to clone Charlotte Green.

Anonymous said...

Ant and Dec

Anonymous said...

Jonathan Ross is sure to get it. He seems to be getting every other bloody job at the BBC these days.

proud to be anonymous said...

Cranmer, you are a political genius as well as a great theologian. Not bad going for a 450 year old corpse.

Michael Portillo!

eve said...

From the depths of Norwich city hall I would like to suggest Betty Boothroyd for chairman of the BBC - about time we had a good woman
luv
eve

griswold said...

Why that champagne socialist the golf playing Gavyn Davies whose wealth could sort out the starving of Zimbabwe from whence he hails. Our Gav is tighter than.... so they say.

Anonymous said...

'It is all really rather obvious in retrospect'...

Care to make any other astonishing predictions there, Mr Dale ?

Only without the benefit of hindsight?

Kate said...

I can't see Michael Grade failing to turn ITV around. His track record speaks for itself,
Kate.
http://journals.aol.co.uk/bobandkate/AnAnalysisofLife/

Anonymous said...

John Leslie

Anonymous said...

Jamie Oliver of course!

Anonymous said...

My favourite is my former TVam boss - from after my BBC days, Greg Dyke. He is he only recent DG to steer the BBC in the right direction... I guess your favourite in the runners would be Michael Portillo.

Johnathan Pearce said...

Dimbleby. He has the experience and the gravitas, which is what the BBC needs.

In an ideal world, of course, we simply scrap the licence fee and let people pay for the tv they want, but that would be treating the UK public like adults, and who knows where that sort of thing might lead?

janus said...

Let's go for completely neutralising the beeb. What about a Lib dem in charge? I hear Mark Oaten is looking for a new challenge.

Anonymous said...

Mark Oaten?

jafo said...

Nothing to do with whoever the new Chairman should be but - anyone see the comment about Michael Grade from an "insider" printed in today's 'Daily Mail'? Gives an insight into why ITV is going down the pan and BBC would be following if it weren't for the tax - sorry licence - it collects.

"........he's (Michael Grade) one of the very few at the top of the industry who actually watches television and talks about it........"

So now we know why the programmes are so crappy. Even the people who make the programmes don't watch them!

Dr.Doom said...

Mark Oaten? Are you serious?

He'd have us all renting our television sets and we'd have wall to wall shit coming out of the BBC's rear end.

I see your point now.

Doom.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the BBC can run a series "How Do We Solve A Problem With The Chairman".

They can lock up all the contestants in a house and every week at peak times on BBC1 they will all "perform", be judged by a panel and then the viewers vote on a premium line telephone number.

One will be eliminated each week.

MB

Hilary B said...

Kirsty Wark - worth it just to see the Home Counties expode into uncontrolled apoplexy, as humble subjects of that tartan Raj...

Voyager said...

David Dimbleby I should hope -