Media Bitch

LOOSE TALK

It's May, so it must be magazine month, and the annual PPA Magazines conference and awards has just taken place at Park Lane Hotel.

Luminaries of the magazine publishing world from Conde Nast's Nicholas Coleridge to Incisive's Tim Weller were in attendance, of course, but unfortunately the much-trumpeted welcome speech from the Rt Hon Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, didn't happen. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, considering the mess the Labour Party found itself in ahead of the local elections last week.

Full marks to Coleridge then, who suggested that Jowell might not have made it because all members of the cabinet were currently out chasing missing criminals! James Parnell, the minister for creative industries and tourism, who stepped in to replace Jowell, gallantly corrected any misapprehension. "More like chasing votes," was his calm reassurance.

A few days earlier, and some chasing of a different kind was taking place. This time it was a bunch of people running around after a giant egg - otherwise known as a rugby ball. The Nabs Rugby Sevens raised £25k for charity, with the Media Week-sponsored Plate being won by the Marketing Forum team. McCann Erickson finished as runners-up. In the Trophy, Five won the day but, as you can see from the picture, they were polite enough to share a pint or 234 with runners-up Iris.

WALL STREET JOURNAL NAILS DOWN TOP STAFF

The Wall Street Journal Europe has launched a new supplement. It's called Style and is aimed at minted business types who like buying posh watches and, er, shotguns. That's if the launch event is anything to go by anyway.

West London leather-bag guru Bill Amberg had a stall set up especially for the occasion - which took place at the Century Club on Shaftsbury Avenue. And centre stage among his assorted leather goodies were a gun rack and a splendid-looking shotgun case. A strange choice Bitch thought, while hoping this doesn't give any media owners inspiration when it comes to closing deals or motivating staff.

In a further development, WSJ has firmly set the metrosexuals among media's great and good in its sights it seems, with a free manicure being offered to assorted tipsy business types at the party. After a couple of beers, the women couldn't get a look in, as the WSJ's male top-brass lined up to get their nails done. Definitely a management team in touch with its feminine side!

BEACH FOOTBALL BLOW FOR THE MALDIVES

Somewhere on a beach in the Southern Hemisphere resides one angry information minister. Mohamed Nasheed is his name, and he plies his trade for the small island nation of the Maldives.

The reason he's so vexed is because someone had the gumption to actually ask him to pay for broadcast rights to watching the World Cup. The pesky local cable station has picked up all 64 games apparently, but most of the 300,000 Maldivians don't have cable ... hence the uproar from Mr Nasheed.

"Charging a small public broadcasting organisation such as ours, whose only interest is to show its nationals their life-blood game, is like taking away the means of our life and charging an exorbitant amount to return those means," he alleged. Adding: "We cannot be victimised by this and we do not want to accept such manipulative deals."

Bitch can only hope that a certain Wayne Rooney isn't one of those poor souls forced to watch events unfold in Germany, while sitting on a beach in the Maldives this summer ...

MORE THAN ONE BITCH IN THE MEDIA WORLD

Thinkbox has decided to take a leaf out of Media Bitch's book and is now running its imaginatively titled TV Bitch section on the marketing body's website.

Apparently, they've got the guy who used to write the legendary Pop Bitch updates doing the words, and it's certainly controversial stuff. The first instalment exclusively reveals that some actors take cocaine in toilets, while another more interesting devel-opment was a report of rent-a-Northerner Vernon Kay "hitting a snapper".

The blow was possibly a rather similar sensation to that felt by Media Bitch when TV Bitch asked if we'd like to publicise the former Pop Bitch Thinkbox Bitch on our own Bitch page!

What a cheek, but on the basis that Thinkbox's effort will probably be quite funny, we've written about it anyway. Visit www.thinkbox.tv to find out more.

TIME BANDIT - COLIN LEAHY, Managing director (sales & marketing), Viacom Outdoor, Ireland

30% Time spent with clients, agencies and specialists. Like all media markets, ours is very much about the quality and frequency of your contacts. It's important to have high visibility and get face to face as much as you can.

25% Running the business with joint MD Philip Brown. That involves identifying new ways of capturing and captivating consumers on the move. It's also about managing the day-to-day financial performance.

25% Planning and working with the various teams; identifying objectives, planning the approach, maintaining the momentum and motivation.

10% Probably 5% of my time gets lost with the general day-to-day stuff we all have to do, internal meetings, admin, etc. Another 5% is devoted to "death by e-mail". I keep promising that one day I'm going to have the office e-mail disconnected so that I can force people to pick up the phone and talk!

5% Keeping my eyes and ears open. It may look like I'm relaxing with the Irish Times, but the truth is I'm scanning ferociously for current and future business opportunities.

5% Is reserved for the industry Fantasy Football League. With careful buying and selling, I have managed to bluff my way in to the top-10 performers. I'm waiting for the call from one of the Premiership chairmen any day now.

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