LONDON: If UK-based US cable giant NTL succeeds in its bid to acquire Britain's largest commercial broadcaster ITV - and that's a mighty big 'if' - it hopes to install high-flying Englishman Michael Jackson in the NTC/ITV driving seat as ceo.

Jackson (48), whose meteoric career includes spells as controller both of BBC1 and BBC2, moved on to achieve even greater success as chief executive at Channel 4.

He is now based stateside as President of Programming for Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp, heading its interests in interactive content businesses in entertainment and information.

According to The Times newspaper this morning, Jackson is being intensively wooed by three ardent swains - NTL chairman Jim Mooney and the company's largest shareholders William R Huff and Sir Richard Branson.

According to NTL insiders, the trio are panting to install Jackson as supremo of a combined NTL and ITV - asuming that a tentative merger deal [WARC News: 10-Nov-06] is struck.

But even if the deal falls by the wayside, Jackson is seen by the bookies as one of two frontrunners (former Ofcom boss Stephen Carter is the other) for ITV's long-empty chair marked 'chief executive.

Data sourced from The Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff