Duff finalises team to lead merged ITV sales house

LONDON - Graham Duff, the chief executive of Granada Enterprises, is finalising his new management team after being confirmed as the managing director-designate of ITV Sales.

The most likely candidate to take the role of sales director is Carlton's current sales director Gary Digby. Duff will also appoint a cinema director, a head of knowledge management, a marketing director and an operations director.

Duff, who got the job after a head-to-head battle with the Carlton Sales chief executive, Martin Bowley, will lead negotiations with agencies over ITV's share of next year's ad budgets. This follows the implementation of the controversial Contract Rights Renewal procedure.

He will also oversee the integration of the two sales houses -- Granada Enterprises and Carlton Sales -- which is expected to lead to up to 300 redundancies.

Duff's appointment, which was correctly predicted by Campaign, means that following the ousting of the Carlton chief executive, Michael Green, as the chairman-designate, Granada now almost totally dominates the management team of the merged ITV. The ITV joint managing director Clive Jones, who becomes the chief executive of ITV's news division, is the sole Carlton survivor of the merger.

Bowley has been at Carlton since it won the franchise in 1992. After more than 20 years in the TV industry, Bowley will now step down at Christmas. He is expected to remain in the industry, but has yet to decide his next move.

Duff joined Granada two years ago from Zenith Media, where he was the chief executive. Labelled the "acceptable face of ITV sales" by agencies, there was little doubt that he would get the job. He had spent nine years on the agency side having previously worked at media owners.

He said: "Clearly there's a need for clarity. Because of the merger process, ITV sales has been unable to talk to customers about the CRR remedy so there's been a vacuum. I'm looking forward to being able to discuss the more practical sides with customers.

"The other bit of clarity is for Carlton and Granada sales staff. They've lived with it for a year. There will be redundancies but nothing is decided on either the scale or timing of these redundancies."

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