ITV Crisis Nears D-Day

SWITCH on your TV and all looks normal.
But behind the scenes ITV is fighting for its very life.
As the BBC this morning announced a revised package of relocation measures for staff moving from London to MediaCity in Salford.
You can read the online version of today’s MEN story here.
The future of Granada’s Quay Street site in Manchester is among decisions at the top of ITV’s agenda.
Will it decide to raise much needed cash by selling its Manchester home?
And join the BBC in a new base at MediaCity?
You don’t need an expert to tell you that we are somewhere near the bottom of the property and land market.

But these are desperate times for ITV and a move may prove attractive if it raises funds and can be self-financing.
Leading to cost savings in the long term.
As discussed before, moving Coronation Street to a new home at Salford Quays is perfectly possible.
A decision to either stay in Manchester or move to Salford is now long overdue.
Delayed by ITV’s internal problems in the face of plunging revenues from advertising in the current recession, along with the fall in land values.
Plus the effect the economic downturn has had on those who might re-develop a city site like Quay Street.
Not exactly a great time to build new shops, offices or a hotel.
There has been speculation that ITV may close its Yorkshire HQ in Leeds.
With some even suggesting production of Emmerdale could transfer to Manchester or Salford – which appears unlikely.
Emmerdale has a purpose built village location in Yorkshire.
And is expected to stay on that side of the Pennines.
But the recent decision to put future series of Heartbeat and The Royal on ice must be of concern to anyone working in Leeds.
We will know more on March 4.
That’s the day ITV publishes its annual results for 2008.
And the day it will also release details of yet more big job cuts, along with the wider results of a review of its business.
ITV may also finally tell us whether it plans to stay in Manchester or move to Salford.
Although it’s been reported that we may have to wait until the summer for a full plan for the north of England to be finalised.
While the prospect of a future takeover of ITV cannot be ruled out.
As I said, it’s fighting for its very life.

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