- United News & Media is the largest UK media owner with advertising revenues of £1.6 billion, according to Zenith Media's first survey on the Top UK media owners based on 1997 figures.
Following close behind is BSkyB, with ad revenues of just under £1.4 billion, while the Daily Mail & General Trust falls into third place with just under £1.2 billion.
Channel 4, which emerges as the ninth biggest media owner, just behind the Mirror Group, makes the largest profit per employee of all of the big TV broadcasters with £192,000 per head. This towers above the second largest earner, BSkyB, which earns £59,000 profit per employee.
IPC Magazines, for which only 1996 revenue data is available, falls below Emap in terms of media revenue, with £325 million compared to £663.6 million, but Emap's figure includes its French interests, business publishing and other activities. Emap's UK magazine income in 1996 came to £235 million.
Zenith's survey covers 42 of the largest UK-based media owners in print, broadcast and outdoor media with total billings of £11.3 billion. The top ten owners account for 74 per cent of total media revenue.
Adam Smith, head of publications at Zenith Media, said: "After six years of economic recovery and a complete professional make-over of media issues, it is still surprising how column- like media companies are. We are still vertically segregated in the UK, unlike the Time Warners of this world which have their fingers in many different pies."
He added that during the compiling of the report, it became apparent how poorly covered non-quoted companies are and how little is known about them.