Dyke steps down at Yorkshire

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The Independent Online
GREG DYKE, the chief executive of LWT, has resigned from the board of Yorkshire-Tyne Tees Television. But he has yet to decide whether he will stay with the London weekend broadcaster following its takeover by Granada, writes Heather Connon.

The resignation, effective from last Monday, follows a ruling by the Independent Television Commission that no one can be a director of more than two franchise holders. LWT has a 15 per cent stake in YTTV, which owns both the Yorkshire and Tyne Tees franchises, and Mr Dyke sat on the YTTV board.

The ITC's ruling could create difficulties for some of the other alliances being formed by media groups. Carlton Communications, the London weekday franchise holder that has just acquired Central Independent Television, also owns a 20 per cent stake in Meridian, the franchise holder for the south of England.

Under the ITC's ruling, a Carlton director could not sit on the Meridian board. The company does have two representatives at Meridian - Leslie Hill and Bob Southgate - but neither are directors of Carlton. Some industry executives expect the rule to be abolished in the current review of media ownership.

Mr Dyke had talks with Granada yesterday and Gerald Robinson, Granada's chief executive, has made it clear he wants Mr Dyke to remain with the group. But he is waiting to see what Granada offers before committing himself.

Money is unlikely to be an issue. As a result of a share option scheme designed to reward key LWT executives for retaining the franchise, Mr Dyke owns shares worth pounds 9m.