Former TV wunderkind Michael Grade has returned to the television fold, joining the board of ITV franchisee Scottish Media Group as a non-executive director.
Grade, son of the showbiz legend Lew and now 60, quit as ceo of Channel Four in 1997, expressing the fear that he might “begin to get stale” after twenty-five years in the industry.
He then joined his ‘family business’, First Leisure Corporation, as ceo – a post he held for just two years before moving to Pinewood-Shepperton as executive chairman, following the merger of the eponymous UK movie studios. He retains this role in addition to his SMG duties – as he does the chairs of national lottery operator Camelot and business and financial information provider Hemscott.
Grade, whose resumé also includes a senior programming stint at the BBC, re-enters the ITV arena at a momentous time. With the government’s controversial Communications Bill poised to become law within weeks, the UK TV industry is set for a series of potentially cataclysmic shakeups.
Says SMG chairman Don Cruikshank: “Michael’s track record in the media sector is well-documented and I’m confident that his experience and contribution to the future direction of SMG will be of great benefit to the company.”
Gazing into the WAMN crystal ball – and reading between the cliché-ridden prose of a corporate press release – it seems likely that Grade has been cast in a role more usually allotted in show business to the US cavalry.
Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff