Emap Advertising is planning to spend more than pounds 1 million
recruiting sales and marketing staff for its local radio teams.
Its decision to invest in the local network is in stark contrast to
Capital Radio’s decision to scale down its localised London sales team
to focus on national advertising (Media Business, 26 June).
Tim Schoonmaker, chief executive of the Performance Network, insisted
that although the local sales market had ’remained flat over the past
two years’, there was room for major growth in local and direct
During the recruitment drive, which has been given the name Midas, Emap
will draft staff into every one of its local radio teams.
Part of the drive will be to extend its Rainmaker scheme, which was
established two years ago to reward outstanding performance from airtime
Money will be spent on training people in local sales as well as
offering a fast-track management scheme.
The company will also invest in creative teams to write the ads, in
marketing staff and new-business specialists.
Both Sally Aitchison, managing director at TFM in Stockton, and Michelle
Surrell, managing director at Radio Aire in Leeds will head the new
Emap Advertising also intends to make local airtime more lucrative by
raising its prices once it becomes more of a premium medium.
Schoonmaker said: ’Radio is in very high demand. We are getting better
at managing inventory and quicker at turning around deals. A rate
increase is definitely on the agenda. Our business can’t afford to take
cheap advertising from anyone, not even local advertisers.’
Surrell said: ’It’s worth investing in the local market so we can
deliver good rates.’
Once a stronger infrastructure is in place, the company expects a
different calibre of local advertiser to be drawn to its radio
’We must drive local sales in line with the national market, not abandon
it just because national radio advertising is booming,’ added
Emap’s local and direct advertising sales operations will expand in the
North-east, North-west, Yorkshire and London.