NEWS: Milligan accepts top C5 sales slot

Nick Milligan, the sales chief of UK Gold and UK Living, is to be the first sales director of Channel 5, three years after he led Thames Television’s failed bid for the fifth terrestrial TV franchise.

Nick Milligan, the sales chief of UK Gold and UK Living, is to be the

first sales director of Channel 5, three years after he led Thames

Television’s failed bid for the fifth terrestrial TV franchise.



Milligan’s name has been linked with the top Channel 5 sales job for

several months, but he finally signed a contract with Channel 5

Broadcasting this week.



Milligan will join the new channel, which is due to launch at the

beginning of 1997, as sales director with a seat on the main board.



He said that the job offered a fantastic opportunity. ‘This is the last

major terrestrial TV launch and the channel has enormous potential,’ he

commented. A recent report from Goldman Sachs predicted that the channel

would take pounds 99 million in ad revenue in its first year.



Milligan is expected to begin talking to agencies about Channel 5 early

next spring, ‘though the most important thing to me right now is to

secure Gold and Living’s revenue for 1996’, he added.



Observers believe that UK Gold’s sales force, which numbers more than 25

people, will follow Milligan to the new channel. The team, which media

buyers recently voted the most professional of all TV sales forces

(Campaign, 8 September), has been with Milligan for several years,

previously working at Thames Television. However, Milligan will have to

more than double the size of his team to handle Channel 5.



A new satellite sales house is now being developed to sell Gold and

Living alongside their sister United Artists Programming channels,

including Discovery and Bravo. All of the channels share a parent

company - Flextech - and Milligan is said to have been asked to lay the

foundations for a group sales team. After Milligan’s departure, it now

seems likely that the sales house will be managed by the UAP sales team,

headed by Richard Burdett.



Milligan claimed that the pending judicial review of the Independent

Television Commission’s decision to award the Channel 5 licence to

Channel 5 Broadcasting would not delay plans for the channel’s launch.



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