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Friday, October 29, 1999 Published at 20:29 GMT 21:29 UK

Business: The Company File

Eyre joins Pearson

Richard Eyre: From Capital Radio to ITV... now to Pearson Television

The chief executive of ITV, Richard Eyre, has been named as the new head of Pearson Television, replacing Greg Dyke who left last month to take up his role as the next director general of the BBC.

The move is the final twist in the battle for the top job at the BBC, in which Mr Eyre lost out to Mr Dyke.

[ image: Greg Dyke: Left Pearson to become BBC director general]
Greg Dyke: Left Pearson to become BBC director general
Independent producer Pearson is the world's biggest maker of drama serials, with British titles ranging from The Bill to This is Your Life and Wish You Were Here.

Richard Eyre, 45, took on the role of chief executive at ITV in 1997 after a six-year stint heading up Capital Radio. He was attributed with leading ITV's revival and increasing its peak-time audience share to 39%.

He will join Pearson Television in the New Year. Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of Pearson's parent company, said: "Richard is a great leader and manager of talent, with a sure touch for successful and popular programmes.

"We are very pleased to have been able to lure him."

Before joining Capital Radio, Mr Eyre spent 15 years in the advertising industry. An Oxford graduate, he is married with two children.

Big pay league

Last year at Pearson, Mr Dyke was paid a total of £768,000, including a £480,000 bonus.

The company would not comment on Mr Eyre's expected pay, but one Pearson executive said: "It will be not very different from what he is earning at ITV."

Mr Eyre said: "Pearson Television is poised to take advantage of the huge opportunities offered by digital expansion and the internet.

"The challenge of leading the company and its team of talented people in this new world, while building relationships in its current markets, is irresistible."

He added: "I leave ITV with a brilliant management and commissioning team fully able to sustain the momentum of the turn-around of the last two years."

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