ITV sales staff fear job losses

Granada’s 260 sales staff were summoned to the sales floor at 11am on Friday to hear the Competition Commission’s decision on the Carlton/United merger - which could result in the loss of hundreds of jobs.

Granada’s 260 sales staff were summoned to the sales floor at 11am

on Friday to hear the Competition Commission’s decision on the

Carlton/United merger - which could result in the loss of hundreds of

jobs.



As tension mounted among the sales staff of the three ITV powerhouses -

Carlton, Granada and TSMS - senior directors switched on their WAP

phones and awaited the news while teeing-off on the golf course.



In the end, Stephen Byers, the trade and industry secretary, cleared the

way for a trio of proposed mergers between the three companies.



The commission gave Granada the go-ahead to merge with either Carlton or

United but a Carlton/United merger will only get the green light on the

condition that the Meridian franchise is sold within six months.



Meridian covers the South and South-east of England. The franchise is 75

per cent owned by United News and Media with a 20 per cent stake

belonging to Carlton TV.



Industry sceptics believe Granada will raise a hostile bid for United or

Carlton.



Granada’s army of sales staff have every reason to be tense. One senior

insider predicted up to a third of the sales positions will be cut,

whatever the merger outcome.



He added that senior staff were already ’pulling out their business

cards to tout around’.



Carlton houses approximately 150 sales people, while Granada employs an

estimated 250. TSMS has the largest sales force of 250-300 staff.



A question-mark hangs over who would head advertising sales in the

merged operation. The two main candidates are Jerry Hill, chief

executive of TSMS, and Mick Desmond, chief executive of Granada

Enterprises.



Martin Bowley, chief executive of Carlton Media Sales, could also be a

contender for the top job, although it is believed he is taking an

increasingly important role in Carlton’s digital ventures.



Story, p2.



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