ITV takes full ownership of GMTV

ITV has taken full ownership of breakfast television broadcaster GMTV after acquiring Disney’s 25% stake in the company.

The deal to buy Disney’s remaining stake in the company is reported to have been worth over 22 million pounds. ITV bought out Disney from the breakfast broadcaster as part of its strategy to focus on core activities.

GMTV launched in January 1993 after winning the ITV breakfast franchise from previous holders TV-am. The breakfast magazine programme was originally to be titled Sunrise but Sky News’ morning programme uses that name thus Sky Television protested; instead, the broadcaster went under the name GMTV. Scottish broadcaster STV was once a shareholder of the breakfast company owning 25% but ITV acquired their shares in 2004 in a deal worth 31 million pounds.

GMTV currently broadcasts from the former LWT studios in London and over the years has seen many presenters go onto better things. Original co-presenter Eamonn Holmes now co-presents This Morning and has also presented other game-shows and programmes.

Another memorable presenter was Fiona Phillips who divided audience opinion and quit the broadcaster for better things – those long-term better things have yet to materialise for the presenter, although she is presenting some festive programming on ITV in December.

Over the years the programme has undergone revamps and changes most recently in the wake of the premium phone-in scandals of which GMTV was heavily involved.