Former Sky boss for top ITV job - Redux
Chris Forrester

We have been writing the above headline for months, but now it seems those who can make the decision are showing a higher degree of commitment towards Tony Ball, a former CEO at BSkyB. Simon Fox, a rival for the top job at ITV, has decided to stay as CEO at HMV and has thus ruled himself out of the ITV opportunity.

Tony Ball, a forthright and no-nonsense manager, is likely to win a consensus of votes despite there being two other high-quality candidates for the position: Pascal Cagni, Apple’s European boss, as well as John Cresswell, the insider’s favourite and current COO at ITV.

Certainly Mr Ball has strong support amongst key institutional investors, which have remained constant in their patronage. They know his skills and management style works. The larger question is the importance of programming skills and knowledge (talents that were important to Michael Grade, the departing executive chairman). It would seem that from the short list now assembled those specific talents have been isolated.

However, this particular selection process still has a way to run, and one option remains to start the process all over again, going back to the headhunters and repeat the process that’s now been running for the best part of 6 months.