One of the most high-profile positions in the new ITV became vacant this week after Steve Anderson, controller of current affairs, arts and religion, announced his departure after seven years with the broadcaster.
Anderson told Press Gazette he was “in discussions with a few television companies at the moment”.
His departure marks the end of the negotiations to remain at ITV that began in January, after restructuring at the network saw him lose responsibility for ITV News.
An editor-in-chief role was established to oversee both the network’s national and regional news output, reporting to the first director of the ITV News Group, Clive Jones, but Anderson declined to apply for the position, which was ultimately filled by ITV News editor David Mannion.
At the time, Anderson’s refusal to apply for the editor-in-chief post prompted speculation within the industry that he was at odds with ITV’s plans to overhaul its news operation, particularly in terms of further cuts to resources.
Anderson commissioned ITV’s most watched current affairs programme, Tonight with Trevor McDonald, which has just been extended to the end of 2005.
“I have enjoyed my period at ITV and wish the network, and all of the people with whom I have had a close working relationship, all the best for the future,” he said.
Anderson began his broadcast journalism career in 1978 at Granada, on the then ITV flagship documentary series World in Action and Northwest regional news bulletin Granada Reports.
In 1985 he moved to the BBC for 13 years to become a producer and director of news on the breakfast-time slot and producer on Newsnight. After editing BBC One current affairs show Here and Now, Anderson became editor of Watchdog in 1995 for two years, before he was poached by ITV
By Wale Azeez