It says here, in a pretty good scoop for Andrew Neil’s The Business (they don’t seem to have a web site, though), that David Elstein ? top broadcasting wit, former Chief Exec at Channel 5 and general scourge of wooly, public service nostalgia ? has secured the backing of the Hallmark Corporation (yes, that Hallmark) for a speculative bid for the soon-to-be-merged ITV.
I can’t help thinking this is probably a good thing. Hallmark may be weird, ‘family-oriented’ and about as American as Apple Pie but it’s also an extraordinarily well-run company, a big investor in original content and one of the few big firms with the free cash to fund a frankly risky deal like this.
If it turns out to be a kite flying exercise or it just falls apart I think it’ll be a pity ? Elstein is inventive and aggressive and with some American money he could really shake up mainstream UK TV.
The Guardian picked up the story this morning.