The National Magazine Company is close to signing a far-reaching deal
with Granada Sky Broadcasting that would realise its long-time ambition
to convert its brands into TV programmes.
NatMags has been the most vocal of lobbyists against the Independent
Television Commission’s rules barring publishing companies from turning
their magazine brands - such as Company and Good Housekeeping - into TV
‘Masthead’ programmes, which allow publishers to effectively brand a
programme without influencing its content, are currently allowed on
cable and satellite TV but not on terrestrial stations.
NatMags has been involved in preparations for some time in anticipation
of the ITC’s rules being relaxed this autumn. It recently appointed
Raymond Joslin, the group head of the entertainment and syndication
division of its parent company, Hearst, to the NatMags board.
Joslin will be directly responsible for the new division, alongside the
corporate business development director, Duncan Edwards, who was
appointed to the board at the same time. Edwards refused to confirm or
deny the deal.
Talks between the two companies have been going on for a while. It is
also known that NatMags had been exploring a possible deal with Channel
5, but whether this will now be called off is unclear.
GSB is due to launch with seven channels on 1 October. Last week, it
appointed Lansdown Conquest to handle its advertising (Campaign, 21
June). The channels will include Granada Men and Motors, and Granada
The Good Housekeeping Institute, which is an offshoot of Good
Housekeeping, has already signed an editorial deal with the Home and
Garden strand on the Granada Good Life channel.