Charles Allen's imminent departure from ITV springs from the crisis in traditional consumer media, not merely the problems at ITV alone.
From television to newspapers to radio, advertising revenues and confidence is being sucked out of the old-fashioned consumer media. And that means the management of these companies is under extreme pressure to turn the situation around quickly or be thrown out.
Just over a decade ago, media companies exercised near monopolies, with high barriers to entry and assured revenues and audiences. Today the situation is dramatically different but few traditional media companies have shown any boldness, let alone evidence of getting to grips with audience fragmentation and the rise and rise of the internet and other "disruptive" technologies.
Mark Beilby, an analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort, says: "There is an unquantifiable but insistent sense of attrition ... one noted industry commentator told us that 'beneath the bravado there is a developing sense of desperation'."
Trinity Mirror, the biggest newspaper publisher in the country, put up a big "for sale" sign last week. Earlier this year, Daily Mail & General Trust tried to offload its vast stable of regional papers but could find no takers at the pounds 1.5bn asking price.
GCap Media, the market leader in the radio sector, has had to issue multiple profit warnings after being unable to stem steep decline at its main station Capital Radio.
Emap, which has a huge consumer magazine and radio business, has also been in profit warning mode. SMG, the owner of Virgin Radio, Pearl & Dean cinema advertising and two ITV franchises, has just parted company with its long-serving chief executive Andrew Flanagan.
BSkyB, the leading subscription television operator, has had to change its business model to embrace internet distribution, after spending billions on building up its satellite network.
The sales of monthly glossy magazines are under assault from the success of cheaper weeklies.
In most of these cases, it is possible to point to specific management failures but really the issue is structural change, which has taken away eyeballs and advertising money. The choice of television and radio stations has multiplied and consumers are spending more and more time on the web, rather than reading newspapers or watching television.
This year, more will be spent in the UK on web advertising than ads in national newspapers.
Charles Allen has delivered a smooth merger at ITV and a long series of regulatory wins. But he is going because he has not been able to tackle steep declines in viewers and advertising money at the company's core ITV1 channel.
Simon Terrington, a founding director at Human Capital, a media consultancy, says: "There is a creative panic [among traditional media]. The internet is where the creative engine is now. The likes of GCap and ITV have shown themselves capable of managing costs and handling regulators. But they have been too defensive With that approach, you lose your confidence."
By contrast, Mr Terrington points, out, Channel 4 and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp - the parent company of Sky-have "embraced" the internet. Channel 4, in particular, has shown it is possible to be a free-to-air broadcaster and maintain market share, even as the number of channels available in an average household mushrooms.
Paul Richards, an …