GMTV replaces chief after competition fraud departure

GMTV has promoted sales and marketing director Clive Crouch to acting chief operating officer. He steps up at the start of next month, following the departure of managing director Paul Corley who resigned in July after admitting phone-in competitions had cheated viewers out of millions of pounds.

Crouch will effectively lead the breakfast broadcaster, while GMTV hunts a permanent successor to Corley, who is scheduled to leave next week. As part of the executive reshuffle, chairman Clive Jones will be taking a more “hands-on” role.

The broadcaster, 75%-owned by ITV, is expected to be handed a record fine over the phone-in controversy. Channel Five has already been handed a £300,000 fine by media watchdog Ofcom for irregularities at quiz show Brainteaser.

GMTV suspended premium-rate phone-ins in April after allegations on BBC1 programme Panorama that viewers spent up to £40m entering competitions they had no chance of winning.

A later investigation by GMTV revealed that winners were routinely picked before phone lines closed over a period of more than four years.

GMTV controller of enterprises Kate Fleming, who was in charge of premium-rate competitions, also resigned.

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