NEWS: Wheble headhunted from AMV to become UAP sales controller

United Artists Programming has raided the agency world for a sales controller for its new airtime sales house, hiring Tony Wheble from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.

United Artists Programming has raided the agency world for a sales

controller for its new airtime sales house, hiring Tony Wheble from

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.



Wheble, currently the broadcast director of AMV, joins the Flextech-

owned sales operation in the next few weeks as the number two to the

vice-president of sales, Richard Burdett.



The newly-created position reflects the change in the nature of the

sales operation since it announced plans to launch as a standalone

(Campaign, 29 March).



The sales house is being created to maximise ad revenue for all of UAP’s

portfolio of cable and satellite channels, including Bravo, the

Discovery Channel and TLC, while still ensuring that they are positioned

and sold as brands in their own right.



Burdett said that the decision to hire a sales controller from within an

ad agency reflected the nature of the branding strategy.



‘Tony comes from an agency with one of the strongest branding heritages

in town, and as we move to building an ever-stronger service ethic, his

background will be invaluable,’ Burdett commented.



Wheble will oversee negotiations for all of the channels. He is the

second agency man in recent weeks to move from buying TV airtime into

sales. Mark Swift, a group head at BMP DDB, is set to join Channel 5 as

an account director.



Wheble’s arrival will allow Burdett to expand his portfolio to take on

new channels not owned or managed by Flextech.



Brent Harman, the managing director of Flextech, confirmed that

Burdett’s role will now encompass managing the transition to a sales

house as well as spearheading the drive for third-party business.



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