New ITV chief addresses staffers

Says the broadcaster's strategic review is under way

LONDON -- Incoming ITV chief executive Adam Crozier has told staff that the company faces "tough challenges ahead," despite a recent increase in performance, but has praised the broadcaster's recent onscreen performance and said the company's strategic review is "well under way."

The news came amid reports that Crozier has held meetings with Channel 4 content head Kevin Lygo and others with a view to bringing in a new head of TV production, potentially sidelining ITV

On his first official day as CEO, Crozier wrote the following to all ITV staff:

"On my first day at ITV I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself and say how much I'm looking forward to working with you ... it's a really exciting time to be joining!

"You don't need me to tell you that ITV has been through some turbulent times recently with a combination of the economic recession and the changes occurring in our own industry putting us and our competitors under real pressure. It seems to me that the decisive action that you took last year has begun the process of helping get us fit to compete in a rapidly changing media world and for that everyone deserves a lot of credit.

"We all know that we have some tough challenges ahead and some issues to face up to, but we really don't need to be defensive about that -- just recognise them, find a way to solve them and move on. Equally we have some real advantages and opportunities going forward that will allow us to grow and have an exciting and rewarding future if we get the strategy right and focus on making things happen on the ground every day.

"On screen, no one can have failed to notice the huge splash ITV has been making in recent weeks, from the landmark political leaders debate to the record breaking debut show of Britain's Got Talent to drama like The Prisoner. There is real value in our brands and our content and unlocking that value is critical to our future.

"Our aim as a company must be to build on these exciting strengths at the same time as modernising as a business so that we are ready to face the challenges of the on-demand, content-led world across all three screens: television, Internet and mobile. We need to be responsive to what's happening in our industry and build a business that is more agile, adaptable and less dependent on a single revenue stream so that we can compete across all platforms.

"The strategy review is well underway and I have been involved behind the scenes with the process. Both Archie and I have had a huge response from many of you and we have been really encouraged to see that the need for change is recognised and supported with some really creative ideas. We will keep you involved and informed as the strategy progresses, because in the end the real difference will be made by all of us working together in an integrated way to create an exciting, fun and successful business.

"In the past few weeks before joining I have been meeting people within the company and around the industry. My priority in the coming weeks is to meet as many of you as possible, to get to know your areas of the business better and to identify where and how we can make progress. In the meantime it's important that we continue to build on our recent successes and maintain the current momentum.

"I look forward to working with you and if you have any concerns, questions or ideas please feel free to get in touch with me directly at any time."