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Davis says no to ITV chair

EX-REED Elsevier chief executive Sir Crispin Davis has walked away from the opportunity to become ITV&rsquo;s chairman, dealing another blow to the troubled broadcaster.<br /><br />Davis &ndash; who was the board&rsquo;s favourite to replace Michael Grade &ndash; is said to have felt the job was too high profile for his first time as a company chairman.<br /><br />The shock rejection by Davis means that BMI founder and ex-Channel 4 chairman Sir Michael Bishop is now hotly tipped for the role.<br /><br />Bishop is understood to be popular with both the board and the shareholders, with the latter becoming increasingly agitated about the slow progress being made to fill the chairman and chief executive roles.<br /><br />The new chairman&rsquo;s first job will be to lead the search for a new chief executive, allowing Grade to leave the company after three years in charge.<br /><br />Former Sky boss Tony Ball had been in advanced negotiations over the chief executive role, but walked away last month. ITV said that the parties had failed to agree on a pay package, while people close to Ball said that an ITV ultimatum over the appointment of Davis as chairman caused the talks to breakdown. It is not known whether the door would still be open for Ball should he wish to return.