Media Lifeline: Jerry Hill

The former Initiative boss says he's a 'real fan of radio', but is he the right man to head up Rajar?

July 2000: Jerry Hill, who had worked his way up from sales director at Anglia, becoming the managing director, then the chief executive, at the airtime sales house TSMS, is left without a job when Granada buys TSMS's United News and Media parent.

November 2000: But he's not out of the loop for long. In November, Hill is unveiled as the new chief executive of Initiative Media UK, with a brief to engineer a new-look agency following the merger of Initiative and its sister agency Western International. He's also given a seat on Initiative's European board and is charged with helping to drive expansion in selected markets outside the UK.

November 2004: But thanks in part to troubles at the agency's parent, Interpublic, it soon becomes apparent that expansion may be the last thing on anyone's mind - and it's not entirely surprising when Initiative loses its keystone Unilever account. Hill rallies the troops, vows to resist redundancies and renews the agency's commitment to its other clients - but there's speculation that other defections may be imminent.

September 2008: Indeed, Vauxhall is lost in 2006; but the straw that almost breaks the agency's back is the loss of its £76 million Orange account in September 2008. To reduce costs, it moves in with its sister agency Universal McCann. Hill has since moved to a global business development role at the network but leaves following a restructure instigated by Initiative's global chief executive, Richard Beaven.

July 2010: Now Hill resurfaces as the new chief executive of the radio audience measurement outfit Rajar, succeeding Sally de la Bedoyere, who had moved on to join the RSPCA. Hill is charged with making Rajar fit for purpose in the digital age.

Fast forward ...

2013: But when the animal welfare sector pounces yet again, with the chairman, David Mansfield, taking up a senior role at Cats Protection (formerly The Cat Protection League), there's widespread speculation that Hill has plans of his own to take a leading position at Battersea Dogs Home. He wrongfoots the market completely, however, when he reveals he's to join RoSPA - the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.


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