Pay me based on my success - ITV contender

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The Independent Online

Roger Parry, the highly regarded media executive who would like to be the next chief executive of ITV, would take a "low" salary if offered the job, with the possibility of making "a few million, not tens of millions" if his tenure is a success.

Mr Parry had previously stated he would take the job only if offered a "private equity-style" pay package, which many believed to mean several tens of millions of pounds - the sort of incentive sought by the entrepreneur Gerry Robinson in his ill-fated bid for Rentokil.

However, Mr Parry said he would want to be paid less than the director-general of the BBC (£619,000) or the chief executive of Channel 4 (£549,000), rather than the £2m-a-year package enjoyed by ITV's outgoing chief executive, Charles Allen.

"If someone successfully got the ITV share price back up to 150p [from 102p now], I don't think shareholders would have the slightest concern if they took a few million out of it," Mr Parry said. "But you're talking about a few - single figure - million, not tens of millions. It's ludicrous that he [Mr Allen] is paid so much more than his two principal competitors [BBC and Channel 4] when those competitors are being successful."

Referring to the Robinson/Rentokil situation, Mr Parry said: "Recent history has told us that if people are too greedy, they will have their proposals rejected. You've got to get the balance right, between making some money for the individual and making some money for shareholders."

Mr Parry worked on a takeover offer for ITV this year but said the news last month that Mr Allen had agreed to step down meant a bid was no longer what shareholders sought. He said he would like to be considered for the chief executive job, but only if the ITV board was "comfortable" with his pay structure and his plan for the business, which involves a greater separation between ITV's two arms - its production business and the broadcast division.

Mr Parry, who has not heard from the ITV board or its headhunters, said: "I am interested in talking to the ITV board about implementing the business plan I worked on earlier this year and in leading the turn-around on the basis I describe. I am not in any conventional way 'looking for the job', I am 'looking for an investment'... I've got what I believe is the solution, which is not quite the same thing as saying I'd like the job, because I don't know the terms of the job."

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