ITV mulls new chief

ITV&rsquo;s board is today due to discuss the candidates short-listed to replace Michael Grade as chief executive, with some analysts expecting an announcement at its interim results on Thursday.<br /><br />HMV chief executive Simon Fox was last week the City&rsquo;s new favourite to step into Grade&rsquo;s shoes when he steps down at the end of the year to become non-executive chairman.<br /><br />But a raft of high-calibre candidates are understood to have been approached by ITV&rsquo;s executive headhunter Russell Reynolds, including Pascal Cagni, head of Apple&rsquo;s Europe, Middle East and Asia operations, Guillaume de Posch, the former chief executive and chairman of German broadcaster ProSiebenSat. 1 and John Creswell, currently ITV&rsquo;s chief operating officer.<br /><br />Tony Ball, the former chief executive of BSkyB, was thought to be a frontrunner, but reports of shareholder disagreement over his nomination &ndash; and Ball&rsquo;s decision to join the board at BT &ndash; have left many in doubt that he remains in the running.<br /><br />Whoever steps into the frame at ITV, they will have a tough job on their hands. The struggling broadcaster is expected to reveal further falls in its advertising revenue at its interim results, and analysts are forecasting a loss of between &pound;10m to &pound;26m, compared to a profit of &pound;74m last year. <br /><br />Some media analysts also expect the firm to reveal its pension deficit has almost tripled, from &pound;178m at the end of 2008 to around &pound;500m.