As the locals are reputed to observe in Granada Media’s northern English hinterland: “When t’brass is tight, there’s nowt like a Knight!” And Granada chairman Charles Allen has wisely heeded local lore.
Enter Sir George Russell, knight of the realm and professional non-executive company director, laden like golden chainmail with high level business links to the north of England and elsewhere.
Sir George will serve as non-executive deputy chairman and lieutenant to Allen who, as expected, assumes the duties of departing ceo Steve Morrison, due in September to move in the opposite direction through Granada’s revolving door.
Granada says that Russell will play “a significant role in assisting the board to manage the regulatory issues and industry consolidation opportunities created by the new communications bill”.
Russell's chore will be lubricated by a filofax crammed with political and ad industry contacts made during his former incarnations as chairman of Independent Television News, the Independent Broadcasting Authority and the Independent Television Commission.
He will, observers believe, also be expected to open a few ad revenue doors– in which regard he will not be hindered by previous stints as chairman and chief executive of Camelot, 3i, Marley and British Alcan.
Meantime, Steve Morrison, dubbed by Allen “one of the great driving forces of Granada for nearly three decades”, is paying the price for the failure of Granada/Carlton co-venture ITV Digital, no doubt consoled by the fact that “all of us at Granada wish him the very best for the future”.
Reporting direct to Allen are executive board members Henry Staunton (group finance director and deputy chairman of media ventures) and commercial director Graham Parrott. Non-board members similarly reporting the supremo are Mick Desmond, Simon Shaps and Jules Burns.
Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff