The ITV Network Centre, which is responsible for all network commissioning decisions at the U.K.’s leading commercial broadcaster, has restructured its factual department in a bid to boost ratings.
ITV director of programs, David Liddiment, has appointed three new commissioning editors, each of whom is renowned for their popular touch.
The key appointment is a new controller of documentaries and features, Grant Mansfield, who has been poached from the highly regarded factual department at BBC Bristol. During his stint there, Mansfield was behind some of the bbc’s top-performing fly-on-the-wall series such as Driving School, Vets in Practice and Holiday Reps. He also supervised long-running bbc hits such as 999 and The Antiques Roadshow.
Replacing outgoing controller of factual programs Paul Corley, Mansfield takes up the new role this month. His arrival is confirmation of Liddiment’s avowed intention ‘to make factual programs a key part of the itv peak-time schedule.’ In the last two years, the BBC’s emphasis on popular factual programming, both at peak time and during late afternoon, has been a thorn in ITV’s side. ITV’s best-rating response has been the recent series, Neighbours from Hell.
Liddiment’s other appointments are executives who have also demonstrated a light touch in factual programs. Former BBC figure, Steve Anderson, will become controller of news and current affairs. While at the BBC, he was editor of the early-evening consumer-affairs program, Watchdog.
The third appointment is Dianne Nelmes who takes up the newly created role of controller of daytime. She will hold the post for one year, on secondment from Granada Television, where she is currently in charge of lifestyle programs for Granada’s satellite operation, GSB. In a varied career, Nelmes has been editor of World in Action and the architect of This Morning, a Granada-produced morning show, which has consistently headed the ratings.
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