THE saga of Coronation Street’s possible move to Salford Quays is nearing a conclusion.
At 7am today ITV announced it intended to axe 600 jobs and cut programme budgets.
And at 7.30am I took part in a long conference call with executive chairman Michael Grade and other ITV bosses.
As luck would have it, I was the first in line called to ask a question.
So I asked for the current thinking on the possible move of ITV Granada – including Corrie – from Manchester and the latest timescale for a decision.
Michael handed the question over to ITV chief operating officer John Cresswell.
You can read the full details in today’s MEN coverage here.
In essence, it looks like – barring a change of heart or last minute hitch – Corrie will be moving.
Described in Mr Cresswell’s answer as “the most valuable programme on British television”.
ITV won’t be drawn on a timetable for their now long overdue decision.
But there is speculation we may finally learn either way in July.
Although full details of the job cuts have yet to be revealed, it appears Manchester will escape the worst of the axe.
With Countdown moving to Manchester from Leeds, where at least 150 jobs are to go.
And then on to Salford Quays?
As discussed in this blog last month, it looks terminal for both Heartbeat and The Royal.
With the closure of ITV’s main studio site in Leeds, leaving just a few smaller units open.
Speculation that Emmerdale might also move to Manchester was always nonsense.
But aside from regional news, it’s all that’s left across the Pennines.
I also monitored an hour-long ITV webcast to investors this morning, again featuring Michael Grade and his team.
Not being a business journalist, I always find these financial presentations a little cold for my liking.
Especially when phrases like “reduced headcount” are used.
We must never forget that these are real people, with families, mortgages and fears for the future.
Not just items on a balance sheet.
People who may have given a large part of their life to ITV.
Some of whom were in tears this morning.
ITV Axes 600 Jobs