Duff appoints Carlton's Digby for ITV sales director post

LONDON – Graham Duff, the new managing director of ITV Sales, has appointed Gary Digby, the Carlton Sales managing director, as sales director and his second in command as he named all but one of his senior management team.

The appointment sees Digby knock out his current boss at Carlton Sales, Steve Platt, and Granada Enterprises managing director Simon Pardon, in the race for the sales director's job. It will also help ease criticisms that the new ITV management is dominated by Granada executives.

Simon Lent, deputy managing director at Granada Enterprises, becomes Digby's deputy, taking the post of London sales leader, with three agency groups reporting into him.

At the same time, Duff announced the appointment of three other directors. Jill Kerslake, operations director at Granada Enterprises, becomes sales operations director; Debbie Chalet retains her role as chief executive of Carlton Screen Advertising, but under the new title of director of cinema; and Granada Enterprises planning director, Andy Bagnall, has been named director of knowledge management.

Duff still has to appoint a director of customer relationship management. He said in a memo to staff that he hopes to announce this before Christmas.

Duff, who is currently chief executive of Granada Enterprises, beat his opposite number at Carlton Sales, Martin Bowley, to the top sales post at the merged ITV last month. He is understood to have been holding interviews up until Friday.

Announcing the appointments to staff, he said: "Given the commercial imperative of the negotiation timetable, I will now prioritise working with Gary and Simon on the next steps in the area of agency sales.

"I will also be developing with Andy, Jill and Gary how we best progress in all the areas that will come under their charge."

The appointments coincide with the first day the two sales houses are allowed to negotiate together.

However, the official merger of ITV does not take place until February, following the passing of the Communications Act and a vote of Carlton and Granada shareholders on the deal.

The merger of the two companies is expected to result in as many as 300 redundancies.

Although Ofcom does not officially begin operating until December 29, it has already started announcing changes to industry regulations. Today it ruled that BSkyB, Channel 4 and Five would be able to combine on the issue of airtime sales.

Last month it announced that former Starcom Motive chief executive David Connolly had been appointed to take on the role of ITV adjudicator, to rule on disputes arising between advertisers and ITV's combined sales house.

The merged ITV sales house controls a 52% share of the £3.6bn UK TV ad market.

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