Nick Bampton has been chosen to replace Paul Curtis as the managing director of Viacom Brand Solutions.
Bampton, 35, was the sales director at the Viacom-owned TV sales house, but stepped into Curtis' shoes on a caretaker basis when Curtis announced he was leaving to become the deputy managing director of Sky Media (Campaign, 22 October).
However, Michiel Bakker, the executive vice-president and managing director of MTV in the UK, Ireland and Nordic, has given Bampton the position full-time after a three-week trial period. Bampton becomes the youngest of the heads of the TV sales departments.
Bampton takes over a sales force of 60 across the UK and Ireland, representing 16 TV channels, including Nickelodeon, Paramount Comedy and all of the MTV- and VH1- branded stations as well as the third-party sales contract for E! Entertainment.
Bampton's appointment comes at a key time for VBS. Because of the nature of its portfolio of channels - it specialises in the youth and children's market - it faces a potential threat from the Government's health White Paper revealed last week.
The paper proposes that advertising for foods that the Government decrees to be unhealthy could be banned from appearing before the 9pm watershed.
VBS already has a diverse revenue stream, with sponsorship and promotions contributing a sizeable amount to its bottom line, and Bampton is known to want to expand its non-traditional revenue into areas including telephony.
Bakker said: "In the short time Nick has been acting managing director, he has made his presence felt, bringing fresh insights and opinions to the table."
Bampton started his television sales career at Thames TV in 1990 before moving to UK Gold as part of its launch team. He later worked on the launch of Channel 5 in 1997 before setting up Channel 5 Interactive with Curtis in 2000. The following year, he followed Curtis to VBS as his sales director.
- TV feature, p28.