Yorkshire snaps up former TV-am boss Bruce Gyngell

In a move termed a coup by media analysts, Yorkshire-Tyne Tees, holder of two ITV licences for the North, yesterday confirmed persistent rumours that the former chief executive of TV-am, Bruce Gyngell, would be named YTT's group managing director from 15 May.

The flamboyant Mr Gyngell, who famously turned around the ailing TV-am only to see the company lose its franchise to GMTV (then Sunrise) in the last round of ITV awards, will also become chief executive of subsidiary Yorkshire Television, one of the country's leading production companies.

He will replace John Fairley, who left last month, apparently after being told he would not get the top job at YTT.

Ward Thomas, YTT chairman, said that the appointment would give the company an advantage in international markets as well as in the UK.

"Bruce is experienced in every facet of our industry," Mr Ward said.

Mr Gyngell, 65, has spent the past three years as executive chairman of Kerry Packer's Nine Network in his native Australia, where he took the network to number one position in terms of audience share.

Mr Gyngell began his television career in Australia as a presenter, and was managing director of both Nine Network Australia and Seven Network.

He became managing director of TV-am in 1984. When the company was closed in 1992, by which time Mr Gyngell had been made chairman, it was one of the most profitable franchises in Britain.

During his TV-am tenure, he also gained a reputation as a mystic - a believer in mantras and massages - and a man with odd tastes in clothes, cajoling his staff to wear pink to promote good fortune. In accepting the YTT job, Mr Gyngell, dubbed the Pink Panther, inherits a company that has only recently returned to the black following overselling of airtime that obliged YTT to repay advertisers over the course of 1993.

The company lost £7.9m that year, compared with a pretax profit of £16.7m in 1992. Last year, the company managed profits of £10.5m for a 15-month period, reflecting the changed year-end.

YTT has also been saddled with the effects of overbidding for its franchises in 1992.

Mr Gyngell may also face the prospect of a takeover bid, media analysts said. YTT shares have risen sharply in recent days, reaching the 500p by late last week, compared with 450p earlier in the month. The shares closed yesterday at 489p.

Some of the rise was fuelled by expectations that television and leisure group Granada was eyeing YTT, ready to move once media cross-ownership rules were relaxed.Industry insiders believe at least one group of companies is looking at a bid.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk