Media Lifeline: Cross-media initiatives

Leading media outlets have recognised the potential offered by a cross-media approach.

2000: With media owners fretting about how they might sell single media channels internationally, Emap launches Emap Advertising, headed by Tom Toumazis, to offer a UK cross-media sale, embracing magazines, websites, TV channels and radio stations.

2001: AOL Time Warner creates a New York-based unit called Global Marketing Solutions, headed by Myer Berlow, to offer packages across the group's US assets - including the internet, interactive TV, cable TV, magazines and point of sale. Some buyers suspect it's merely a ruse to gain online advertising a higher place on advertisers' agendas.

2004: Emap Advertising has proved so successful that a group of separately owned media properties decides to emulate the structure. RSVP (standing for Real Sound, Vision and Print) is a joint venture bringing together Capital Radio, Viacom Brand Solutions and IPC Ignite! to offer cross-media packages. It is headed by Dan Salem (Viacom), Victoria Smith (IPC) and Mike Hope-Milne (Capital).

2006: Now the newspaper market widens its horizons, too. Dave King (who had succeeded Toumazis at Emap Advertising) arrives at The Daily Telegraph to sell the brand as a cross-media platform in 2004. In 2006, Mark Chippendale, a former sales director at Sky, is appointed as the media director at News Group, to do the same for The Sun and the News of the World.

2007: Time Warner, offers another take on this, as its UK businesses gear up for a sale via the Time Warner UK Advertising Council. It will be run by Michael Steckler (AOL), Simon Cox (Turner) and IPC Advertising's managing director, Caroline McDevitt.

Fast forward ...

2009: But it's not long before the trend kicks into reverse. With digital inventory now comprising more than 90 per cent of sales at the major media owners, offline opportunities are now seen as an antiquated embarrassment - and they're hived off to third-party operations specialising in "distressed" sales.