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Ian Ritchie has left his post as chief operating officer at Channel 5, seven months after being succeeded in the top job last year by David Elstein. Ritchie is to join the executive recruiting firm, Russell Reynolds Associates, as managing director.

Ian Ritchie has left his post as chief operating officer at Channel

5, seven months after being succeeded in the top job last year by David

Elstein. Ritchie is to join the executive recruiting firm, Russell

Reynolds Associates, as managing director.



Mick Desmond, the chief executive of Laser Sales, has not gone to the

Harvard Business School, as planned, after Granada bosses decided his

presence was required in the UK. The decision to pull out of the

three-month course at the eleventh hour has sparked speculation that

Granada, Laser’s parent company, is poised to acquire Yorkshire Tyne

Tees Television.



Freemans Catalogue’s pounds 6 million media planning and buying

account - handled by Mansfield Lang - was hanging in the balance this

week after the company was sold to Littlewoods. The Freemans media

business could be merged with that of Littlewoods Catalogues - handled

by the Media Centre Manchester.



Times Newspapers will hear on 6 June whether it can present its own case

at the Telegraph’s High Court action against the Audit Bureau of

Circulations. The case, in which the Telegraph is trying to prevent the

ABC from forcing it to declare lesser rate sales, was adjourned last

week. A date for a full hearing will also be set on 6 June. See

Headliner, page 22.



The Periodical Publishers Association will hold a high-level debate on

magazine trading at next week’s Magazines 97 event. The session will

cover issues such as speed of payment, payment terms, commission, credit

and ratecard



Young and Rubicam has dismissed industry rumours that it is poised to

pull out of Mediapolis, its joint media operation with the Euro RSCG

network. However, top-level discussions regarding the global roll-out of

the brand, which at present operates only in Europe, have proved

inconclusive.



Virgin Radio has bought out the 25 per cent stake held by its start-up

shareholders, which included the merchant bankers, J. P. Morgan, the

venture capital company Apax Partners, and Sir David Frost. For the

first time since its inception, the station is to become a wholly owned

Virgin company.



The Central Office of Information has shortlisted Ogilvy and Mather

Direct, Triangle, Barraclough Hall Woolston Gray and Maher Bird

Associates for a pounds 2 million campaign to inform the public of the

widening of competition in gas supply. The integrated campaign will be

run on behalf of Ofgas.



Pfizer, the pharmaceuticals giant, is strengthening its links with CKMP,

the former Integrator agency, by awarding it the pounds 1.5 million

launch of Sleepia, a sleep remedy which will compete with

Stafford-Miller’s Nytol. Pfizer is the agency’s biggest client.



Andrew Sharp, director of marketing and communications at Initiative

Media, has taken the Grand Prix Trophy in this year’s IPA Media Awards.

Dan Cresta, from WCRS, won the planning and buying category, Peter

Bowman, also from WCRS, took the research prize and Mark Burton from MBS

Media won the selling award.



Eddie Bauer, the US casualwear chain, has shortlisted Duckworth Finn

Grubb Waters and BDDH to pitch for its pounds 500,000 advertising

account. The brand is due to launch in the UK later this year.



Osprey Communications has been appointed by Seiko Europe to handle the

development of global marketing concepts for a new range of watches.

Budgets are undisclosed.



Ocean Software, the interactive entertainment manufacturer, has called a

four-way pitch for the creative work on its pounds 500,000 account. The

Advertising Agency will repitch against Barrington Johnson Lorains and

multimedia shops, Protocol and Montage.



Campaign is sponsoring a one-day conference on direct response

television and telemarketing at the Langham Hilton, London, on 4 June.

’Call to Action - the DRTV and telemarketing Revolution’ will be chaired

by Colin Lloyd, chief executive of the Direct Marketing Association.



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