Emap invests in local radio

Emap Advertising is planning to spend more than pounds 1 million recruiting sales and marketing staff for its local radio teams.

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

sales executives.

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.

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