Andy Hawkins, the former sales director of Atlantic 252, has
launched a television sales house to handle airtime sales for a raft of
new local TV channels, dubbed ’Channel 6’.
AH Media has already signed up ten TV stations which have been granted
restricted service licences by the Independent Television Commission to
broadcast analogue terrestrial TV services to local conurbations.
As part of the terms of their licence, each station is allowed to sell
up to 12 minutes per hour of advertising, and Hawkins aims to sell ads
on a quasi-national network of these regional stations.
Hawkins has brought in Chris Dickens - the former chairman of Postar and
worldwide media director of Young & Rubicam - as the non-executive
chairman of AH Media.
The company hopes to be representing up to 75 stations by the end of
Stations in Cambridge, Leicester, Portsmouth and Lanarkshire are among
those that have already agreed to use AH Media for their airtime sales.
And stations in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester and Dundee are expected
to use the company when they launch next year.
Hawkins claims that there is an opportunity to offer an advertising
alternative to local press and radio. ’We hope to take at least half of
our revenue from national advertisers who are looking for alternative
media at a local level and we’re encouraging our stations to use
Continental Research to provide robust audience data,’ he said.
Ivan Clark, the director of TV strategy at MediaCom TMB, said:
’Localised television will never be huge, but research shows that in
these days of increasingly homogonised TV, people do tune into local
stations and that will draw advertisers in.’