Thomas takes over at Yorkshire-Tyne Tees: Leach steps down at television company
Mr Leach's resignation had been widely expected following the company's embarrassing admission last week that it would make losses this year.
Yorkshire's problems have been caused by a shortfall in advertising revenues, which analysts estimate could be more than pounds 10m.
This was triggered when the group shifted responsibility for airtime sales from an in-house team to Laser, a subsidiary of the television group London Weekend Television.
LWT, which has a stake in Yorkshire together with the media group Pearson, was apparently very unhappy with the way the Yorkshire management had allowed the problem to arise. Mr Leach came under particular fire, partly because he has considerable experience in sales.
Contrary to earlier reports, however, Allan Hardy will remain the company's commercial director.
Mr Hardy, John Fairley, managing director of Yorkshire Television, and John Calvert, managing director of Tyne Tees Television, will report directly to Mr Thomas. A veteran of the industry at 69, Mr Thomas is viewed as a temporary appointment while the company identifies a permanent replacement.
This is unlikely until the new year, however. Peter Brooke, the National Heritage Secretary, is reviewing the rules that prevent the nine largest television companies buying each other, and a relaxation is widely expected that could determine Yorkshire's long-term future.
The option many expect is that the companies will be allowed a relatively free hand to merge, provided their resulting share of the advertising market does not exceed 25 per cent and with some protections for regional broadcasting in Scotland and Wales.
Both LWT and Granada are interested in buying Yorkshire, something that has sustained its share price, which closed down just 1p at 182p.
Most ITV shares have been inflated by the expectation of a widespread rationalisation that could reduce the present 15 companies to just three or four big groups.
View from City Road, page 34
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
iJobs Money & Business
$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer Office...
$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...
Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...