Granada Group has said that ONdigital is ’well ahead’ of subscriber
targets and has announced its intention to float on the stock market.
Granada’s chairman Gerry Robinson said the pay-TV channel should have
500,000 subscribers by the end of the year, beating its original target
of 350,000. By the end of the third quarter it had signed up 411,000
Scottish Media Group, ITV broadcaster and owner of The Herald newspaper,
has made a pounds 225 million bid for Chris Evans’ Ginger Media. SMG
wants to buy Ginger partly to expand out of the Scottish market, and
partly to deter unwanted advances from Granada Group, which is said to
be planning a bid for SMG next year. Under media ownership rules,
Granada would not be allowed to own Virgin Radio, part of Ginger’s
portfolio, as well as LWT. Buying SMG would therefore become much less
attractive, as it would involve the complicated and costly process of
reselling Ginger Media.
New Millennium Newspapers is to launch a new Sunday newspaper with an
ecological focus. The Planet on Sunday will have an initial print run of
350,000 and launches on 28 November with a cover price of 50p.
Nettec, the e-commerce specialist, and Moss Bros, the men’s outfitter,
have outlined plans for an internet wedding portal. Ourbigday.co.uk is
to launch in April and will provide a nationwide directory of products
and services. It will also carry links to sites of brands aimed at
brides-to-be. The website will be marketed in Moss Bros’s 200
Flextech Interactive, the online arm of the media group, is to buy a
majority stake in Way Ahead, a rock and pop music ticketing company, for
pounds 7.7 million. The company will encourage the purchase of tickets
from Way Ahead with ads on its cable channels, which include Trouble,
Living and Bravo.
Internet shoppers spent nearly pounds 2 billion online in the last 12
months, according to new findings from Continental Research. The 11
million regular users spent an average pounds 170 each online in the
last year, a total that accounts for 1 per cent of all retail purchases.
The report also found that 76 per cent of users have looked at a website
subsequent to seeing a magazine or newspaper ad, 55 per cent as a result
of a TV ad, and 24 per cent after hearing a radio ad.
Aegis Group has restructured Carat’s international arm. Jerry Buhlmann,
former managing director of BBJ Media Services, moves to become chief
operating officer. He will work alongside Eric Drancourt, chief
executive officer. Nikola Blagg, Nigel Morris and Martyn Rattle have all
become vice-presidents, while Susannah Outfin joins as international
business director. She moves to Carat from APL New York.
Capital Gold is launching a London outdoor campaign to promote Tony
Blackburn’s drive-time show. The month-long push, entitled ’Hey Baby’,
kicks off at the end of November and has a spend in excess of pounds
100,000. It will consist of 1,000 rear bus panels and 150 backlit
six-sheets, supplemented by ads in Metro. The campaign features a
full-length shot of Blackburn holding a gun, with strapline ’Hey baby,
here’s my number.’ Underneath will be written, ’Turn on Tony Blackburn,
the original medallion man. Weekdays from 4pm.’ Blackburn quipped, ’At
last I’ve found a place where my face fits ... the back of a bus!’