ITV chief executive Adam Crozier will seek to make a statement of intent when he hires a new executive to lead ITV Studios.
He is likely to attempt to coax senior industry figures working at rival firms as ITV seeks to bolster its production of exportable content.
Names that have been linked to the post at the production arm of ITV include Channel 4’s director of television Kevin Lygo and Talkback Thames’ chief executive Lorraine Heggessey.
The BBC makes millions every year from selling programmes such as Top Gear and Walking With Dinosaurs but ITV has lagged behind.
ITV yesterday distanced itself from the speculation. A spokesman told City A.M.: “Adam Crozier has not arrived at ITV yet so there is no shortlist yet and no headhunters have been sent out.”
Crozier is in line to pocket £2.2m for his first year at the helm of ITV, and his earnings could rise to as much as £16m by 2015.
The former Royal Mail boss will receive a basic salary of £775,000 and a £620,000 “golden hello”. He will also be in line for a bumper performance-related bonus pot of £2.3m over three years.