Belfast Telegraph

UTV boss to leave after 12 years

By Staff Reporter

UTV managing director Michael Wilson is leaving the broadcaster after 12 years, ITV has announced.

Mr Wilson, who previously worked for Sky News, will leave Havelock House in March.

ITV, which bought UTV last year, said Mr Wilson had decided to step down.

In an email to colleagues, Mr Wilson said: "It is with great sadness that I am announcing my departure, almost 12 years to the day I first walked through the doors of Havelock House."

A company statement said he was proud of UTV's achievements since 2005, including growth in the audience for its television news, the success of the UTV website, app and player and the launch of UTV Ireland.

Mr Wilson said he was proud of programmes such as the flagship 6pm news broadcast UTV Live, as well as UTV Live Tonight - a programme that was axed by ITV earlier this year.

The launch of UTV Ireland in January 2015 led to disappointing audience figures, ultimately costing UTV Media plc £13m, four times the original estimate.

Other programming landmarks included The Troubles I Have Seen and farming documentary Rare Breed.

Mr Wilson said: "When ITV bought UTV last year, I was asked to stay on for the integration process.

"That is now close to completion, and UTV Ireland has moved to Virgin, so I feel that the time is right for me to move onto new ventures. I have a huge amount of respect for so many people here, and the staggering professionalism of the teams I have worked with so closely.

"The journey over the past 12 years has been inspiring, often difficult and occasionally traumatic - but never dull.

"I hope the friendships that I have built through this journey will last for many more years to come.

!I wish each and every one of you every success in the future."

Belfast Telegraph