MEDIA: FOR THE RECORD

The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Paddy Ashdown, has called for Rupert Murdoch’s ownership of the Times to be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission in the wake of the Chris Patten affair. In a letter to Margaret Beckett, President of the Board of Trade, Ashdown suggests Murdoch’s influence on the Times’s coverage of China may breach an agreement he undertook on buying the paper in 1981.

The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Paddy Ashdown, has called for

Rupert Murdoch’s ownership of the Times to be referred to the Monopolies

and Mergers Commission in the wake of the Chris Patten affair. In a

letter to Margaret Beckett, President of the Board of Trade, Ashdown

suggests Murdoch’s influence on the Times’s coverage of China may breach

an agreement he undertook on buying the paper in 1981.



Maiden Outdoor has extended its Mentor pre-testing service to cover

six-sheet as well as 48-sheet poster sizes. Mentor provides an

independent assessment of proposed creative treatments, using both

qualitative and quantitative analysis.



TMD Carat Manchester has landed the pounds 2 million media account of

Surface Coatings, the holding company for the retail outlets, Tile City,

JR’s Tiles and the Tile Clearing House. The creative work is being

handled by Black 433. Media was previously bought by MBS in London.



Katz Radio Sales has been appointed to handle airtime sales for Surf

107, the youth-oriented radio station in Brighton which is to launch in

the spring. The appointment was made by Gordon Drummond, the sales

director of Surf 107, who joined recently from Kiss 100 FM in London

where he held the same position.



Alan James, former board director of Ogilvy & Mather and TV buying

director of the Network, joins BBC Broadcast this week as head of media

planning within broadcasting and presentation. He will report to Pam

Masters, director of broadcasting and presentation, who said James’s

main task would be ’to enhance the BBC’s ability to communicate

effectively with all its audiences in a digital environment’.



The Radio Authority will advertise the first and only national digital

multiplex on 24 March. The multiplex already contains three existing

national commercial stations - Classic FM, Virgin Radio and Talk Radio -

and will be able to broadcast up to five new digital stations

nationwide. The closing date for applications is 23 June and the licence

will be awarded in the autumn.



Express Newspapers has expanded its recruitment advertising team with

the appointment of Ian Sprackling as its classified advertising manager

for recruitment. Sprackling was the former recruitment group head at the

Evening Standard.



Emap On Air has recruited Charlie Norton as head of sponsorship and

promotions for its television interests, which include the Box and the

forthcoming Magic TV. Norton joins Emap On Air from Kiss TV where he was

commercial manager.



Myatt McFarlane has bought Home & Life magazine from XL Communications.

Home & Life, which is produced in conjunction with Milk Marque Consumer

Publications and sold by Britain’s milkmen, has an ABC figure of

214,000. The ad sales team will be headed by David Burridge.



Scottish Courage, through MediaVest, has signed a deal with VH 1 to

enable Beamish to sponsor the cable and satellite music station’s St

Patrick’s Day programming on 17 March. Both Beamish Black and Beamish

Red will feature in all the promotional airtime during the run-up to the

event and on all programme menus on the day itself.



The Sky sports commentators, Andy Gray and Alan Parry, are to front Talk

Radio’s World Cup coverage. The pair will commentate live on at least

one game a day, including England’s and Scotland’s matches.



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