The news this morning that the Executive Chairman of ITV is to step back from his post is further evidence of the changing role of television.
The former BBC Chairman and nephew of Lew Grade a founding father of ITV is part the generation that presided in the golden era of television. The early sixties through to the early nineties provided the most watched TV shows of all time. The very idea of a TV channel is under threat with the web providing higher quality and varied means of delivery. Channels have to be brands to have a role in future models.
In the last year ITV has shed 1600 jobs and is a brand that needs to embrace change in the medium if it is to survive. Whilst the channel struggles to deliver it’s programmes via the web others are innovating. Last night the BBC’s webcast of the apprentice had a live vote and a chat room attached where viewers could share their opinions about which hopeful would be the next to get the finger from Mr Sugar. The BBC has also just announceed that the hugely successful iPlayer will go to HD.
ITV still has great products and brand equity. Its place on the digital dial is still valuable but unless it finds a new way to embrace the web its time is ebbing away.