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Virgin Media gain former ITV boss Charles Allen

# Sep 11, 12:39 AM by Mick

If at first you don’t succeed, try again and yet it seems more likely after speculation from the City, that Virgin Media may be attempting to try for ITV for a second time, after yesterday’s news that Charles Allen, former Chief Executive of ITV, joined the Virgin Media board of directors as a non-executive. Allen quit ITV just months before ntl became Virgin Media and after the cable group was ultimately blocked from a takeover bid of ITV, courtesy of their rivals; BSkyB purchasing a 17.9% stake in the broadcasting company.

However, as we know now, BSkyB have been ordered to sell down its stake in ITV but they have appealed the ruling from the Competition Commission, so until that hearing has taken place, nothing can happen.

ITV has become a takeover attraction due to its share price dropping nearly 60% in the last year alone. The broadcaster also suffered the fate of being kicked out of the FTSE 100 Share index.

Charles Allen’s second job appointment this week is also with Endemol, the makers behind Big Brother, so City gossip is predicting that Virgin Media and Endemol could be joint owners of ITV. But that won’t put off the likes of RTL, owners of channel ‘Five’, and or NBC – who are rumoured to be just as interested in ITV.

Charles Allen was Chief Executive Officer of ITV plc from 2004 to 2006, having previously served as executive Chairman of Granada plc, which he led through the merger with Carlton Communications to form ITV. His career with Granada spanned 13 years, starting with his appointment as CEO of Granada TV.

Virgin Media have also appointed John Rigby to its board of directors, he to a non-executive. John had spent eight years as the president of the Florida Division of Time Warner Cable and nine years with Paragon Communications, the Time Warner and Houston Industries cable joint venture.

Jim Mooney, Chairman of Virgin Media commented:

“With the appointment of Charles and John to our Board, we have added further world class experience and expertise to our team. Charles brings unrivaled experience in the UK media sector from his 15 years leading the UK’s key commercial broadcast companies and John brings extensive experience from both the telecoms and cable sectors.”

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