Boardroom change at TV station
Woodward to step down as STV chief executive
Rob Woodward is stepping down as chief executive of STV and has been linked to a new role at Channel 4.
His phased departure over 12 months comes after the launch last night of STV2, a new channel for Scotland.
Shareholders will be informed of Mr Woodward’s decision at today’s annual general meeting when an update on the first quarter will show the Glasgow-based company trading in line with expectations.
STV’s nomination committee will begin the process of finding Mr Woodward’s successor.
The company has already announced that David Shearer, senior independent director, will retire from the board with effect from today’s AGM after ten years service. Simon Miller will replace him with immediate effect.
Margaret Ford, chairman of STV Group, said: “The board is indebted to Rob for his exceptional contribution to the turnaround of the group and his commitment and passion in driving positive growth over the past ten years.
“He has built a strong legacy. With a first class leadership team and staff and highly engaged board in place the company is well positioned to realise its future growth potential and continue to deliver to shareholders.”
Mr Woodward said: “We have made a positive start to 2017 including the launch of new channel, STV2, and further commissions secured for STV Productions.
“As I confirm my decision to pursue fresh challenges after leading the company for the past ten years, I am passionate about STV and its prospects to continue to deliver sustainable profitable growth for our shareholders.
“The company has an outstanding management team and committed and energised staff that will continue to build on the unique strategic strengths of the business.”
The company will tell shareholders that the outlook to end of May continues to be in line with forecasts with STV national airtime revenues expected to be down 8%.
Regional airtime revenues are expected to be up 5% in the five months to end of May. Digital revenues continue to perform strongly, up 11% in Q1 with VoD up 23%, and are expected to continue to deliver a strong growth trajectory in Q2.
During the period STV Productions has announced a new commission for 20 episodes of a game show format for ITV. Babushka will appear in ITV’s daytime schedule from early May.
STV2 launched last night at 5pm. The new 7pm news programme was broadly well received on social media with commentators noting that it did not rely on “putting a kilt” on international stories.
The programme used inserts from ITV but also despatched a reporter from Glasgow to Paris to cover the French presidential election.