Media: Lifeline - Graham Duff

The boss of ITV Sales has handed in his notice and is going back to school.

1990: After rising rapidly to group sales manager at Anglia (he joined from school as a traffic clerk in 1977), then spending spells in the media departments of Leo Burnett and Publicis (where he became the TV buying director), Graham Duff becomes a founding director of the first ITV sales house, TSMS. He is given the task of running Border's sales.

1993: After a spell as Meridian Broadcasting's sales director, he joins Zenith Media as its head of TV. He is then promoted to joint managing director in 1995. Christine Walker (pictured) leaves to set up Walker Media and Duff becomes Zenith's chief executive.

2001: With ITV revenue in the doldrums despite continuing consolidation (ownership has contracted to two main companies, Carlton and Granada), Duff is lured from Zenith to Granada to become the chief executive of Granada Enterprises. He's given a general brief to pick revenues off the floor - but more particularly is tasked with improving Granada's poor relationships with advertisers.

2003: As ITV now consolidates into one merged company, Duff takes the lead ad sales role following a face-off with the Carlton sales boss, Martin Bowley. As the managing director of ITV Sales, his most immediate challenge is to find the economies of scale inherent in the merger - and he begins making 300 redundancies on the sales side.

2005: Having completed the creation of ITV Sales, Duff (pictured) leaves. He is thought to be frustrated with the difficulties of implementing a client-facing approach - and with contract rights renewal. He enrols at the Wharton Business School in the US.

Fast forward ...

2006: Now brimming with US business-school psychobabble (moving forward), Duff returns to the UK and seeks a senior management role in digital interactive media or advertiser-funded content production. But he is saved from this fate when he is offered a position as the joint chief executive of Walker Media.

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