CARLTON GRANADA MERGER: Countdown to a single sales house

1993: Channel 4's advertising sales is separated from ITV's with launch of sales division, headed by Andy Barnes.

Overdealing at Yorkshire Tyne-Tees hits the headlines. Sales house MAS, run by Craig Pearman and Tess Alps, collapses as a result.

1994: Legislation introduced to allow ITV companies to acquire other ITV companies for the first time leading to the total number of sales houses falling from seven to three.

Carlton acquires and merges with Central TV after a £758 million deal.

Granada makes move for LWT as the first wave of consolidation picks up pace.

TSMS loses the Central sales contract to Carlton Sales, which now handles sales for both Central and Carlton. But TSMS picks up the Scottish TV sales contract from former Granada sales house The Time Exchange.

Merlin's sales contracts for HTV, West Country and Meridian move into TSMS.

LWT's sales operation merges with Granada's to create an enlarged version of Laser. LWT's sales director, Ron Miller, retires. Laser handles sales for Granada, Border, Yorkshire Tyne-Tees and LWT. There are now just three main ITV sales houses - Laser, Carlton and TSMS (which handles sales for STV Meridian and Anglia, among others).

1996: Carlton buys West Country TV and the sales contract moves from TSMS to Carlton Sales.

Laser issues a writ against CIA Medianetwork for its failure to meet its share deals and is renamed Granada Media Sales.

1997: Granada acquires Yorkshire Tyne-Tees. It already handled sales for both regions.

2000: Granada's £1.75 billion acquisition of United News & Media's ITV franchises forces the closure of the TSMS sales house and its chief executive, Jerry Hill, is among those who lose their jobs. Granada now sells airtime across the Meridian and Anglia franchises, as well as Yorkshire, Granada, Tyne-Tees and LWT.

Carlton acquires the HTV licence from Granada for £185 million. The licence was part of Granada's deal with United News & Media, but it has to sell it to meet limits on audience share.

Carlton adds the sales contracts for HTV, Scottish TV and Grampian TV to its portfolio. This takes its share of ITV advertising sales above 40 per cent.

2003: Carlton and Granada merger paves the way for the creation of a single sales house that will sell across ITV regions. Reports suggest that Mick Desmond will head the merged sales team from ITV Network Centre.

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