Lord Hollick, the chief executive of United News and Media, has acquired
a further 10 per cent of the ITV station, HTV. It raises United’s
interest in the company to 29.9 per cent, the maximum allowed before
mounting a full takeover. United is still insisting that it does not
intend to make a formal takeover bid for HTV.
The Radio Authority is considering offering a fourth independent
national radio service. A long-wave frequency, 225kHz, previously
assigned to the BBC for use in Scotland but not currently used, is being
re-assigned to the RA. The Authority now intends to move ahead with
advertising the licence.
The Independent Television Commission has announced an investigation
into the practice of premium-channel bundling in the pay-TV market. The
conditional terms on which the Disney channel is being offered by Sky to
cable operators and viewers form part of the inquiry.
The Independent and London Underground’s advertising contractor, TDI,
have banned ads for this week’s Time Out special on weird sex. The ads
show four different cover executions, including a woman sitting astride
a vibrating washing machine and an inflatable sex doll. Ads for TDI and
the Independent will now be typographically led.
The launch of digital television in the UK is facing delays which could
push back BSkyB’s digital plans. The Department of Trade and Industry is
working on legislation to ensure fair access to digital TV decoder boxes
in the interests of fair competition. The Office of Fair Trading wants
to investigate issues concerning fair competition and the results may
not be available until well into 1997.
Almost half of non-subscribers to cable and satellite TV insist that
they remain happy with the choice on terrestrial channels. According to
the latest CIA MediaLab Sensor survey, however, a fifth of non-
subscribers believe that there is too much rubbish on terrestrial
television. The cost of subscribing to the new channels is a deterrent
to more than a third of non-subscribers.
James Brown, the editor of Loaded, and Joanne Elvin, the editor of
Sugar, were both winners in this year’s British Society of Magazine
Editors awards. Brown won editor of the year in the non-weekly general
interest category, while Elvin scooped non-weekly women’s magazines
editor of the year. Other winners included John Dale of Take a Break,
who won editor of the year, weekly women’s magazines, and Adam Edwards
of ES Magazine, who won editor of the year, magazine supplements.
The Guardian Guide is to sponsor Kiss TV, the seven-days-a-week youth
programme broadcast on Mirror Group’s cable channel, Live TV. In a year-
long deal, the Guide will put its name to a segment called the Edge, a
15-minute listings slot broadcast twice weekly. The latest deal builds
on the Guardian’s existing sponsorship of Kiss 100’s daily listings
programme, the Word.
Gruner and Jahr is to launch a new mass-market home interest title,
Prima Home, in early March 1997. Pitched against Ideal Home and House
Beautiful, it has an initial print run of 250,000, but G&J has yet to
decide on the magazine’s frequency.
Emap Metro has acquired the men’s sport and fitness magazine, XL, from
Affinity Publishing for an undisclosed sum. Affinity has produced the
magazine for nine months and the first Emap issue of XL will be
published in February 1997.
The winners of the 1996 Creative Circle first radio competition are
Hayden Rogers and Anne-Marie Burrows of the Central St Martin’s School
of Art with their commercial, Job Centre. The ad features David Abbott,
the creative director and chairman of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, talking
to a staff member in a Job Centre. It will be entered for December’s