ITV poised to axe GMTV?

ITV axe to swing towards GMTV reports suggest.

The future of breakfast television broadcaster GMTV is in doubt after ITV took full control; having bought out Disney’s remaining stake in the company. It’s thought ITV may axe the breakfast magazine series due to a drop in ratings. Viewing figures have fallen below the one million mark as people opt to view BBC rival, Breakfast.

Now that ITV has full control of GMTV media reports suggest that the broadcaster may axe the breakfast television programme. As we reported earlier ITV has acquired Disney’s remaining stake in the broadcaster meaning ITV now owns 100% of GMTV. ITV has slowly upped its interest in the breakfast franchise since 2004 when it acquired STV’s shares in the company. Now it owns 100% of the franchise it could axe the breakfast programme in favour of something new.

The Daily Mail note that ITV bosses are giving serious consideration to such a move as viewers abandon the breakfast magazine programme in favour of Breakfast on BBC One and Today on BBC Radio Four. Ratings have reportedly tumbled below 1 million for GMTV which is nearly half a million viewers behind Breakfast. Insiders have blamed the “dumbing down” of the series in the wake of its recent revamp. Viewers have switched off in their droves in search of more serious news.

A review of GMTV has already been ordered by ITV in the wake of it taking full control of the broadcaster and it’s expected this will result in job losses and possibly a complete re-branding. Its likely ITV will wish to re-image the programme with its own name – if it decides not to axe the series outright. ITV recently re-branded all of its news bulletins to bring them more in line with the current ITV1 look.

GMTV’s latest revamp came in January after the programme was one of many caught up in the premium phone-in scandals. The new-look also came following the departure of long-term presenter Fiona Phillips who quit to spend more time with her family and to work on new projects.