Media: Things we like

- Sales of TVs

TV viewing is on the rise and the signs are that this growth could continue following Ofcom figures that reveal a staggering 3.3 million TV sets were bought by viewers during the final quarter of last year as HD viewing takes off. Ofcom, in its Digital Progress Report, also reveals that total sales of HD-ready sets have now topped 23 million. Good news for broadcasters launching HD services and for advertisers investing in the future of the medium.

- Foyle's War returns on ITV1

Some long-running series inevitably start to disappoint, but the return of the World War II detective drama Foyle's War last Sunday evening was a triumph. Darker and better acted than many of ITV's other detective dramas such as Marple and Midsomer Murders, Foyle's War is now set in the uncertain post-war period and the first new episode created the mood in detail while ramping up the tension in a plot relating to Anglo-Russian espionage. Its figures weren't bad either - six million viewers beating strong competition from the BBC.

- The Reader's Digest deal

Reader's Digest has become a UK institution and, despite recent sales declines, still delivers large numbers for advertisers. So we were pleased to see that the title has been rescued from its pensions mess by the private equity company Better Capital, which has acquired Reader's Digest in a £13 million deal backing a management buyout. The new owner has committed to investing in the UK magazine and expanding its online operation while not making cuts to the title's workforce. Good news for all concerned.

- Marie Claire's 'power players' issue

We're enjoying the May issue of IPC Southbank's Marie Claire, which has a gatefold cover celebrating ten of the most inspirational women in the UK. Those featured include Leona Lewis and Kirsty Young. The title is also using the "power women" theme to launch a mentoring scheme, in association with The Prince's Trust, which involves 17 powerful women from the fashion, film, beauty, media and retail industries in a bid to raise the profile of mentoring and the importance it plays for women. Media figures featured in the magazine's mentoring activity include Dawn Airey, the chairman and chief executive of Five, and Claudine Collins, a managing partner at MediaCom.

- And one thing we don't...

Doctor Who ads on radio

We couldn't switch on a BBC radio station this week without hearing an ad to trail the new series of Doctor Who. It's bad enough having to listen to disembodied sci-fi noises first thing in the morning and even worse that the BBC is using the ads to promote something that has nothing to do with BBC radio. The frequency of these spots and the harm they might do to commercial rivals is something that the BBC should be made to think long and hard about.

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