Mounting criticism of Allen as he leaves ITV

The NUJ has slammed departing ITV chief Charles Allen for having a "damaging impact" on ITV's regional news and journalism.

After months of pressure and mounting speculation, Allen announced his resignation on Tuesday after two and a half years at the helm.

The NUJ's broadcasting organiser Paul McLaughlin told Press Gazette: "By any measure, you would have to say that his leadership has had a damaging impact on ITV's regional news and in terms of journalism."

Allen had been predicted to stay with ITV for six months during the handover, but will leave in less than two months, with finance director John Cresswell appointed as interim CEO.

Earlier this week Allen told ITV News: "The role of the chief executive is to take the bullets in the creative community when it doesn't go well and step out of the light when things go well.

"That's how you get people to take risks, and this game is all about taking risks."

However, many journalists at ITV feel that the changes which Allen has overseen in his time at the helm have seen more focus put on the company's shareholders rather than creative programming.

McLaughlin said: "Charles Allen was not in favour of ITV as a public service organisation. "He describes it in his leaving note as ‘a regulatory burden'.

"From my point of view, and from that of journalists working within ITV, they want to see a strong commitment to regional journalism, one of ITV's strengths."

Former senior ITN executive Adrian Monck, head of journalism at City University, said: "For ITN at least, Charles Allen will not be sorely missed.

"He certainly wasn't a lover of news, nor the sort of CEO who had any kind of background in journalism."

Sam Collyns, creative director, current affairs, for independent television production company Mentorn, told Press Gazette that most of the indies would be more than willing to pitch current affairs programmes to ITV.

Collyns said: "In principle, the idea of making current affairs programmes for ITV is every bit as attractive as making them for anyone else.

"But because of the uncertainty in recent months there, it felt like less of a priority to be pitching to them than to Channel 4, the BBC or to Five."

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