Be prepared to catch Dave King on the hop - he’s a busy man with
demands on his time. Not only is he furiously swimming his way up the
Emap stream, having recently been promoted to broadcast director, but
his wife Amanda has just given birth.
Tenacious customers will find their telephone calls rerouted to King’s
PA Scott, but the good news is that once you get through to King, he
will assure you a smooth and professional service.
When I meet the confident and laconic 41-year-old, he sits back in his
chair with feet up, looking relaxed. King says he thrives off a ’hard
day’s work’ and can’t imagine working in any other industry.
Yet rumour has it he was not always so sure of his stuff. As a teenager,
King spent one summer working as a bricklayer and it was his best mate
who persuaded him to return to school to finish his A’ levels. ’Just
think, the King file may well have read very differently,’ he jokes.
King claims he ended up doing well in school but turned down an Oxbridge
place to pursue a more hands-on business course. He then fell into an
industry where he felt at home. ’The humour in media is almost as good
as it was on the building site. You’ve got to have a laugh - and be
laughed at - otherwise you’re finished.’
And as broadcast director, one of the recently restructured cross-media
elite at Emap Advertising, he can afford a few laughs. King now sits at
the helm of broadcast-related initiatives encompassing radio, online and
He joined Emap On Air in 1999 as sales director, leaving behind his plum
job as broadcast director at Carat, where he had looked after one of the
industry’s largest television budgets.
’I was with Carat in its various incarnations for ten years, so people
were surprised to hear I was leaving behind TV and the agency world I
grew up in,’ he says.
Yet King is a shrewd operator and says he could spot Emap’s business
King commands a newly created sales team of 12 - in addition to the
50-odd sales army still based at Emap On Air in Tottenham Court Road -
and he has put his troops to work on cross-media pitches.
’One of our tricks is to make sure we talk to agencies and set them out
a clear multimedia brief with a relevant plan that they can talk to
clients about,’ King explains.
’We are not prepared to rattle off our rates for banners and buttons and
leave it at that. There is real growth for creative sales online and we
plan to build on this area through cross-media selling.’
King is also a firm believer in customer service. ’Some media owners
forget agencies are their customers. Over the past nine months, we have
been putting together the strategy and structure to reflect this.’
Overall, there’s very little King isn’t proud of, except, perhaps, the
one time he stitched someone up. ’It was one of my biggest mistakes but
I learned my lesson,’ he admits. ’I did it once and once only. I charged
someone too much. I was too young and keen and the deal fell through as
Outside work, King has adopted something of an English country lifestyle
in not-so-rural Balham, where he lives with Amanda, whom he met at
He’s the chairman of his local cricket club and, after a Sunday
afternoon match, likes nothing better than sharing a few drinks with the
King also makes it his business to play a round or two of golf with
managing director Tom Toumazis and confesses to being a racing fan.
However, with all the fuss surrounding the arrival of his new baby,
King’s face clouds over momentarily. ’There is definitely less time to
party,’ he admits.