HMV chief executive Simon Fox and Apple's most senior executive in Europe, Pascal Cagni, are the frontrunners to become the next chief executive of British broadcaster ITV, according to The Times.

The report said ITV was almost certain to appoint an external candidate as its next chief executive, after the two internal candidates -- commercial director Rupert Howell and chief operating officer John Cresswell -- were sidelined in the race to take over from Michael Grade.

Interviews for the ITV position took place last week, with candidates meeting with James Crosby, the former HBOS chief executive who chairs the nominations committee, and other non-executives, said the report.

An announcement could be made as early as Aug. 6, when ITV presents its interim results.