The former Conservative politician and supermarket boss has steered the commercial broadcaster through a difficult period, improving its online credentials, and bolstering its production capability.
Commenting on the speculation, analysts Liberum said they did not think Norman’s departure would have a significant impact on its strategic direction, but there were some subcontexts such as retransmission revenues and mergers and acquisitions.
There is widespread press speculation that Archie Norman, ITV’s Chairman since 2010, is to step down. We do not think this will make a significant change to ITV’s strategic direction nor prospects but there are several possible interesting sub-contexts around what it might mean around retransmission revenues and M&A at ITV.
“If the news is true, then we think it will raise questions about whether ITV will be acquired – there has been recent speculation on that point and this news is likely to fuel this,” Liberum said in a statement. “It may be coincidence but Mr Norman – an ex-Chairman of the Conservative Party – would be leaving when the Government has presumably reached its conclusions on several big issues in the UK TV sector, including whether to allow the main commercial channels to charge pay-tv operators retransmission fees for their main channels.”
Reports suggest chief executive Adam Crozier has committed to ITV for another two years.