NEWS: Radio must pursue more revenue, says John Harvey-Jones

Tim Wootton is to relinquish day-to-day control of the sales house, TSMS, by passing on his mantle as chief executive to his managing director, Jerry Hill. Commercial radio may surrender the impressive gains it has made in recent years unless it rethinks its competitive positioning, the trouble-shooter, Sir John Harvey-Jones, warned delegates at this week’s 2nd Radio Advertising Bureau Conference.

Tim Wootton is to relinquish day-to-day control of the sales house,

TSMS, by passing on his mantle as chief executive to his managing

director, Jerry Hill.



Wootton will take over as executive chairman of the company from 1

January 1997 following the retirement of the incumbent, David McCall.

Hill will become chief executive at the same time.



Wootton commented: ‘Jerry’s the brightest of his generation and it’s

right that he should run the company now. I want this to be an

evolutionary rather than revolutionary process. It will be business as

usual.’



Wootton launched TSMS, the first TV sales house, back in 1989 with his

then partner, Dick Emery. The company was acquired by the MAI group (now

United News and Media) in 1994.



The sales house represents seven ITV regions: Meridian, Anglia, HTV,

STV, Westcountry, Ulster TV and Grampian as well as Channel 4’s Welsh

service, S4C.



Wootton said that he was keen to stay involved with TSMS because of his

history with the company. ‘Also I’m bullish about this company’s future

as part of the United group,’ he added.



Wootton’s new role is expected to become a non-executive post by the

middle of the year, freeing him up to pursue other interests outside of

the TV trading market, including involvement in other activities of the

United Broadcast and Entertainment division. ‘I will be available to

give advice to UBE,’ Wootton confirmed.



Wootton also aims to spend more time working with the design company,

Lambie-Nairn, where he is a director, and with the Red Cross, where he

is on the communications panel.



Hill joined TSMS at its inception from Anglia Television, where he had

worked since joining the traffic department in 1977. He took over as

managing director of TSMS when the company restructured in 1993.



Commercial radio may surrender the impressive gains it has made in

recent years unless it rethinks its competitive positioning, the

trouble-shooter, Sir John Harvey-Jones, warned delegates at this week’s

2nd Radio Advertising Bureau Conference.



Rather than looking to consolidate gains in revenue share that have made

radio the fastest growing medium for the past three years, the industry

should be making more aggressive plans for a revenue share of nearer 10

per cent, he told an audience of 600 clients, radio industry and

advertising executives.



‘The current market share of 4.2 per cent is far too small,’ he

continued, ‘especially given the proliferation of stations and the

slowing of revenue growth, and leaves the brand - for radio is a brand -

very vulnerable to competitive attack.’



The businessman stressed that complacency was now the real danger for an

industry that had so far succeeded in transforming the public’s

perception of it.



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