United News and Media, the publisher of the Sunday and Daily Express and
the Daily Star, has announced static pre-tax profits of pounds 138
million for 1995, before restructuring costs of more than pounds 30
million. United, which merged with the Anglia and Meridian ITV franchise
holder, MAI, in February, recorded a 2 per cent fall in national
newspaper ad revenues on 1994, although its regional newspaper revenues
increased by 3 per cent.
The Granada Media Group, headed by the newly appointed Duncan Lewis, the
former chief executive of Mercury Communications, is planning to expand
into Europe. The company is examining the potential for low-cost
television channels on the Continent and has not ruled out the
possibility of a European expansion.
Future Publishing has recruited Richard Brook, formerly the publishing
director of IPC Magazines’ Southbank Home Interest group, as the
publisher of Total Football, Football Italia and First XV. Richard Jones
has been promoted from deputy to editor of Total Football, following the
departure of the editor, Gary Whitta.
Last week’s announcement of a merger between the German media group,
Bertelsmann, and Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Telediffusion will create
Europe’s biggest broadcaster. The new company’s interests include stakes
in the RTL channels in Germany and the Netherlands as well as Channel 5
in the UK.
A bus advertising campaign for London Zoo from Harari Page and CIA
Medianetwork has emerged as the winner in new awards for bus advertising
design. Instigated by Buspak, the awards aim to raise awareness of and
improve bus advertising creative work.
The US broadcaster, NBC, is planning the launch of a number of TV
channels for computer users across Europe. The channels would include a
range of educational programming focused on the latest computer
equipment. Microsoft is expected to join NBC on the project.
Gruner and Jahr’s Prima magazine has introduced a series of personnel
changes in its advertising department. The ad controller, Linda Hewitt,
has resigned and is being replaced by Annette Burns, formerly ad manager
on Best. Meanwhile, Rebecca Hobbs has been promoted to ad manager from
Videotron Holdings, the UK’s sixth largest cable operator, is in talks
with Europe’s biggest telecoms group, Deutsche Telekom. Videotron’s
Canadian parent has put a majority stake in the UK company on the market
following its disappointing performance.
The Sunday Times is increasing its Scottish coverage by 50 per cent with
extra Scottish pages in the main news, Business and Sport, and
Appointments sections, as well as a new 12-page broadsheet lifestyle and
listings supplement, called Ecosse. The changes will take place from
Sunday 14 April.
The outdoor advertising contractor, Adspace 2000, has joined forces with
the London Borough of Brent to offer advertisers a range of ad sites
around Wembley during the European football championships. Key locations
include major roundabouts.
The Media Business Group has picked up the pounds 500,000 media account
for the Florin Group’s Travelbase business. The telephone-based travel
agency currently puts the majority of its budget through ITV’s Teletext.
Peter Souter, deputy creative director of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, is
to chair the radio industry’s 1996 Aerial Awards. The awards will be
presented at Bafta in October and the closing date for entries is 5
Talk Radio UK has signed a deal with Mercury to enable listeners to call
the station free by using a Mercury FreeCall 0500 number. In a contra
deal, Mercury will pick up the bill for all listener calls for one year
in return for free on-air plugs.