Zenith Media has appointed its head of radio, Steve Hyde, as strategic
planning director in the wake of Sue Oriel’s resignation to join Media
Audits (Campaign, last week). Hyde’s old job will go to Yvonne Scullion,
a TV buying director at Zenith. Andy Tilley, the joint managing
director, is still looking for further senior recruits to Zenith’s newly
merged planning and research department.
Flextech has taken full control of the Family Channel, acquiring the 61
per cent holding it didn’t already have. Flextech has also acquired a
controlling interest in the infomercials business of the Home Shopping
Network. The acquisitions come as Flextech announces profits of pounds
19.7 million for 1995, up from pounds 11.6 million in 1994.
More than eight out of ten adults are in favour of the introduction of
the V-chip on UK TV sets, according to the latest Sensor survey from CIA
Medianetwork. The V-chip allows viewers to screen out violent
programming or material of a sexual or offensive nature. The survey also
questioned the public on ITV’s plans to introduce a fourth episode of
Coronation Street. Only 22 per cent of viewers want a fourth episode of
the soap, with more than 50 per cent against the idea.
The acquisitive independent radio organisation, the GWR Group, has made
a pounds 24.3 million offer for East Anglian Radio, the leading
commercial radio operator in Norfolk, Suffolk and East Essex. In
addition, it has made a conditional tender offer to the New Zealand
Government to acquire 75 per cent of Radio New Zealand, the dominant
commercial radio broadcasting company in New Zealand.
Pearson, the international media group, has unveiled healthy full-year
results for the year ending 31 December 1995. Pre-tax profits hit a
record pounds 365 million, a jump of 23 per cent year on year. Earnings
per share rose 17 per cent, boosted by a pounds 131 million profit from
the sale of the group’s 9.75 per cent stake in BSkyB. Sales revenue rose
18 per cent to pounds 1.8 billion. Despite the sales increase, operating
profits declined 5 per cent to pounds 260 million.
The Newspaper Society has joined the campaign to amend the Broadcasting
Bill, in a bid to prevent what it sees as harmful discrimination against
the regional and local press. The MP, Sir Norman Fowler (left), who is
chairman of Midland Independent Newspapers, has written an article
entitled ‘A Fair Deal for the Regional Press’, which the Newspaper
Society is sending to all regional and local newspapers. It is also
urging members to lobby their local MPs to support the industry’s case
in the run-up to the House of Commons debate on the Broadcasting Bill,
scheduled for 2 April.
The magazine publisher, Future Publishing, is launching Computer Arts, a
creative arts and technology consumer magazine, in a regular format from
June. The first three issues of the magazine will be bi-monthly,
thereafter the title will appear in a monthly format. Computer Arts will
cost pounds 5 and will be covermounted each month with an editorially
integrated CD-Rom. Meanwhile, Future has announced an impressive set of
ABCs for July-December 1995. Strong performers included Classic CD, up
9.5 per cent year on year, MacFormat, up 24.7 per cent, PC Format up 11
per cent and Total Guitar, up 13.7 per cent.
The Electronic Telegraph is pushing through a number of changes from
April, including the launch of an interactive classified advertising
section. The new section is divided into six areas: appointments,
motoring, property, travel, education and business to business. There
are plans to put all the Daily Telegraph’s classified advertising
sections on to the electronic format. The electronic newspaper has been
redesigned and now the background screen colour is navy blue in an
attempt to give it a strong brand identity.
The Independent Television Commission has appointed MORI to carry out
extensive research into the perception, understanding and experience of
the ITC. The ITC wants to find out how the public, the broadcasting and
advertising industries, Westminster and the press view its activities.
Leo Burnett has unveiled the pilot findings from its latest Kidscape
research project which uses the Internet as a multi-media research tool.
Children aged 10-11 were questioned and among the findings, Kidscape
discovered that: 56 per cent of children watched TV before going to
school. Coca-Cola, Diet Coke Break, Persil, Safeway and Holsten Pils
were among their favourites ads and Rug Rats was their favourite
New-media services such as the Internet and video-on-demand could come
under the auspices of European television regulatory authorities if a
new proposal by the European Commission becomes law. Under the TV
Without Frontiers directive, a TV programme is defined as a moving or
non-moving sequence of images, which may or may not be accompanied by
The television network, MTV is expanding its international operations in
Europe, Asia and Latin America. The company is using new technologies,
such as digital compression, to introduce new services within its
European, Latin American and Asian networks as well as increasing the
amount of regionalised programming it produces around the world,
including Japan. MTV also aims to customise programming and tailor
advertising to suit the needs of each region.
Supa Nova, a magazine for those interested in alternative lifestyles, is
due to launch in June published on a quarterly basis by Media Desk. The
magazine will focus on subjects such as complementary medicines and
therapies, as well as new age topics like crystals, tarot, astrology and
so on. Supa Nova costs pounds 1.85 and will have an initial print run of
50,000. Comag will act as distributors in both the UK and abroad. and
the magazine will be circulated through all major wholesale newsagents,
health food and new age establishments.