NEWS: Newspaper groups to combine media sales

The Telegraph group and Express Newspapers are set to shake up the newspaper market in the next month with the launch of a combined media sales house.

The Telegraph group and Express Newspapers are set to shake up the

newspaper market in the next month with the launch of a combined media

sales house.



As news of the deal broke this week, it also emerged that the Express

group came tantalisingly close to a similar deal with Associated

Newspapers three years ago. It is thought that the two companies, which

are direct mid-market rivals, failed to reach agreement only because of

a personality clash among senior executives.



The new venture between Express Newspapers and the Telegraph, which has

not yet been named, will handle all Telegraph and Express Newspaper

sales and possibly seek deals with other independent news groups.



Word of the initiative came as news that the Telegraph’s managing

director, Stephen Grabiner, had moved to the Express’s owner, United

News and Media, to take on the role of executive director, newspapers,

emerged.



His arrival coincides with the departure of Andrew Cameron, the long-

time cohort of the chairman of United News and Media, Lord Stevens. At

the Telegraph, Grabiner is replaced by Jeremy Deedes, the company’s

group editorial director.



Although the new media sales company is to be headed by the Telegraph

deputy managing director, Len Sanderson, the model comes from United

News and Media’s chief executive, Lord Hollick, who strongly favours

independent sales houses over in-house sales teams.



Commenting on the possibility of further deals, Sanderson would only

say: ‘Anything is possible at this time.’



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