Carolyn McCall

ITV's Carolyn McCall: Flying the flag for PSB

Carolyn McCall offered a robust defence of public service broadcasting during the course of a revealing and wide-ranging interview at the RTS Digital Convention 2020. ITV’s CEO – who was probed by ITV News London and Loose Women presenter Charlene White – also discussed the Black Lives Matter movement, BritBox, ITV’s digital strategy and its response to the corona­virus epidemic.

McCall said that the first Covid-19 lockdown had “brought home to a lot of people” the importance of having “a trusted [TV] source, [with no] disinformation”.

ITV CEO Carolyn McCall: “If you don’t have prominence your content will not be found in this new digital world"

The Chief Executive of ITV said that the coronavirus epidemic had “brought home to a lot of people” the importance of having “a trusted [TV] source, [with no] disinformation”. 

But she warned: “A lot of the stuff that goes on air would not be made if it wasn’t for the fact that there are public service broadcasters.”

McCall called for public service broadcasting, which is currently being reviewed by both media regulator Ofcom and the DCMS committee, to be treated fairly.

ITV's Carolyn McCall: The importance of PSB news has never been greater for our democracy

Carolyn McCall chairing the RTS Cambridge Convention 2019 (Credit: RTS/Richard Kendal)

Shifting viewing habits, developments in technology and the rapidly evolving competitive landscape are having a fundamental impact on our industry,” argued RTS Convention Chair Carolyn McCall as she opened Cambridge 2019.

But amid the change and uncertainty, which included Britain’s future relationship with Europe and the rest of the world, McCall maintained that television had a bright future.

Live blog: Content, Consumers and Everything In Between

McCall is joined by Susanna Reid, Neil Mortensen, Kevin Lygo and the consumer panel in Leeds with Ranvir Singh, as they discuss a wide ranging look at the challenges and opportunities for the television industry in a fast-changing world.

Chairs

Susanna ReidJournalist and Broadcaster 

Ranvir Singh, Journalist and Broadcaster

Speakers

Carolyn McCall: We want Cambridge to bring in the voice of the consumer

ITV CEO Carolyn McCall (Credit: ITV)

It may be Carolyn McCall’s first RTS Cambridge but she knows what she wants from the convention’s speakers. They should be positive and provocative. She also wants to hear from the voices of the people who consume the content.

“There is no point going into the Cambridge Convention with an attitude of ‘It’s all doom and gloom’. Yes, there are challenges but the opportunities for content creators have never been greater,” she emphasises.

ITV's Carolyn McCall: "BritBox won't compete with Netflix"

Speaking to the Broadcasting Press Guild this week, McCall covered a wide range of topics, including the uncertain advertising climate sparked by Brexit, comedy and digital news.

On BritBox she said, “The thing that’s going for BritBox is that it’s not American content, it’s not Starz, it’s not Showtime, it’s not HBO, it’s not all that [stuff] you are getting on Sky, you are going to get on Apple,” she said.

“It’s about the British consumer and about British content.

 “This is distinctively British-originated content. It’s highly differentiated.”

ITV CEO Carolyn McCall talks creativity and brand

Carolyn McCall talking to Tim Hicks (Credit: RTS/Paul Hampartsoumian)

As a programme supplier to ITV, Expectation co-founder Tim Hincks felt he had to deny that he might pull some pun­ches when interviewing ITV CEO Carolyn McCall. He announced to laughter that he would be asking her all the difficult questions, such as “where she went on holiday and what her favourite colour is.… I will absolutely go for it.”

McCall looked relieved at the distraction of Hincks’s humour as she was appearing at her first RTS London conference just two days after reports that the broadcaster might be bidding for Endemol Shine Group (ESG).