Managing director Howe departs IDS

Mark Howe, the managing director of IDS, the Flextech TV sales house, has left the company after almost 13 years.

He is leaving without a job to go to and will not be replaced. Instead, James Wildman, the executive director of sales at IDS, is taking on Howe's responsibilities. Wildman will report to Lisa Opie, the managing director of Flextech TV.

Howe, who was the only remaining member of the sales team that launched UK Gold in 1992, admitted he had mixed feelings about leaving.

He said: "After nearly 13 years, it's time to move on. I am proud of the growth of the Flextech advertising sales business, which culminated in the creation of IDS. I leave one of the strongest, most dynamic sales teams in the business in good hands."

Last year, IDS became embroiled in an investigation by Flextech's parent company, Telewest, into the irregular payment of £5 million in commission to media agencies. These payments were on top of the industry-wide 15 per cent commission rate and were used to encourage agencies to commit additional revenue to IDS stations.

Although IDS was cleared of any illegality, the episode left it unable to trade long-term deals with agencies.

- Perspective, page 8.