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Tony Ball Tries To Squeeze Itv For £30m Pay Deal

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http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle6841398.ece

TELEVISION SUPREMO Tony Ball is attempting to negotiate one of the biggest and most controversial pay packages awarded to a media chief executive.

Ball, who began his career as a Thames Television engineer, has been offered the job of chief executive of ITV, but he will only take it if the independent broadcaster agrees to a five-year package that could be worth up to £30m.

ITV, which broadcasts Coronation Street and The X Factor, has told Ball his terms are unacceptable. It is understood he wants to be awarded share options that are back-dated to when he was first linked to the ITV job, arguing that his very public campaign to replace Grade sparked a share-price rally.

ITV’s shares have risen by 49% since early May, when Ball’s camp went public. Over the same period, the FTSE 350 media index increased by 12.5%.

ITV has already offered a five-year deal that could net Ball up to £20m if he hits all performance targets. In addition to this he would receive an annual salary of £1m, but Ball said it was not good enough.

He told ITV he is prepared to invest £2m of his own money in the company’s shares, but he wants to change the terms of the long-term incentive plan. He has asked for the share options to be repriced and the vesting period changed. The broadcaster, which has a market value of £1.9 billion, has told Ball his terms are unacceptable.

If agreement is not reached soon, ITV will be forced to reopen the search for a successor to Michael Grade some five months after it began. The leading rival candidate, Simon Fox of HMV, ruled himself out last month.

One investor familiar with the talks said: “Ball has the support of 25% of the group’s shareholders, including Legal & General, Schroders and Fidelity, but there is a price even they will find unacceptable.â€

He added: “If it was a case of being just a few million adrift, ITV would be prepared to compromise, but the two sides are poles apart. The board wants Ball, but not at any price.â€

Ball’s demands have enraged his future colleagues. Internally, the rebellion is being led by Peter Fincham, ITV’s director of television — who may quit over the row. He has been linked to the vacant chief executive’s job at Channel 4.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/ad...its-886275.html

Broadcaster ITV said today that underlying profits for the half year to June 30 slumped 28% as it battled an advertising slowdown.

The group's adjusted pre-tax profits came in at £91 million for the six- month period, compared with £127 million a year ago.

Considering the profits at ITV the above are from 2008, a pay packet of up to £30m seems very excessive.

Looks more like he doesn't want the job but doesn't want to turn them down to just makes huge demands.

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