Planet Media - A speed-read guide to the major developments of the week

Disney, IPG, Aegis, GfK, TNS, Co-op, Virgin Radio, The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune, Yahoo, Google, BBC Worldwide, Sony,, Orange, GNM, The Financial Times, MSN, Endemol, Ofcom, CSA, The Evening Standard, NI


- Disney allocates Euro job

ZenithOptimedia has picked up the estimated £20m pan-European media account for Disneyland Resort Paris. As part of a series of account reviews by The Walt Disney Company, Carat has retained the remaining £80m of Disney's other key European media accounts - Walt Disney Studios and Disney Home Entertainment.

- New chief for IPG

Interpublic Group has appointed PHD North America chief executive Matt Seiler as its new global chief executive, replacing Nick Brien who takes on a group planning and buying role. As part of a global restructure, it is creating a new media holding company, Mediabrands, which will pool its digital resources.

- Aegis Media reviews

Aegis Media is reviewing its EMEA operations following the promotion of Jerry Buhlmann to Europe chief executive. Led by UK chief executive Nigel Sharrocks, the review is expected to lead to a management reshuffle.

- GfK lines up Herz for TNS bid

GfK, Germany's biggest market-research company, has lined up the German retail billionaire Herz family as financial backer of a possible counter offer for TNS. TNS is currently fending off takeover advances from WPP, which last week tabled a hostile £1.08bn takeover offer for the company. GfK's original plans for a merger with TNS were shelved last week, when the two companies decided to pursue a deal whereby GfK would buy TNS instead.


- Co-op sets up media centre

The Co-operative Group has launched a media centre to provide planning for brands across its business network. Brands such as AOL, PepsiCo and Unilever have already booked marketing activity through the centre.


- Virgin Radio rejigs

Andy Gumbridge, Virgin Radio digital media director, and David Lloyd, the station's programme and marketing director, are leaving the company as part of a management restructure. Clive Dickens, programme and operations director of Absolute Radio, the new owner of Virgin Radio, will take over Lloyd's programming duties and become the company's chief operating officer.


- US papers launch mag

The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune are teaming up to launch a global property magazine in October. Key, The New York Times Real Estate Magazine launches on 6 October.


- Yahoo and Google deal

Yahoo has notified European regulators about its recently announced search advertising venture with Google - a possible precursor to the venture's expansion into Europe. Under the 10-year deal, currently active only in the US and Canada, Yahoo adds sponsored search results from Google alongside its own unpaid-for search results.

- BBC goes on Babelgum

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, is to make its content available via internet TV platform Babelgum. The deal will lead to BBC content such as natural history, travel and other factual shows being distributed via Babelgum.

- Sony and Yahoo games' offer

Yahoo and Sony have unveiled initiatives to expand their provision of ad-supported computer games, with Yahoo planning to offer more than 400 such games by the end of the year. In-game technology providers, Double Fusion and NeoEdge, will sell and integrate pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll video ads into the Yahoo Games catalogue.

- ad partnership has partnered with online advertising and creative sales house w00t!media to bring both film and non-film advertising to the site. BritFilms offers previews, competitions and reviews to more than 100,000 UK unique users each month in the UK, focusing on both Hollywood and independent releases.

- Orange plans new service

Mobile phone operator Orange plans to launch a new social networking service in the UK this summer, combining MySpace, Facebook, Piczo, Bebo and other social networking sites onto its Orange World mobile portal. The service, which has already launched in France and will soon be available in the UK, combines the sites' functions into one area.

- GNM buys ContentNext

Guardian News & Media has bought ContentNext, the parent company of digital business website PaidContent, as part of its US expansion, for a reported £15m. ContentNext publishes four specialist blogs, including, covering the global digital and mobile content industries. The acquisition is part of GNM's bid to expand its US presence.

- FT Mini Player debuts

The Financial Times is launching the FT Mini Player, a video player that will be embedded in news and feature articles on the website.

- MSN in money site deal

MSN has selected price-comparison website to provide a range of information tools for its MSN Money site. will provide financial advice, comparison tools and best-buy tables for a selection of financial products including loans, credit c0ards, mortgages, savings and current accounts on MSN.

- Yahoo rejects latest bid

Yahoo has rejected a new takeover proposal from Microsoft and Carl Icahn, its billionaire investor, which it described as "completely absurd and irresponsible". Although Microsoft and Icahn have confirmed that they were in talks about Yahoo, the latest approach represents the first time the pair have formally made a joint proposal.


- De Mol ponders ITV bid

Endemol's co-founder has refused to rule out a bid for ITV. John de Mol, who bought back into Endemol in a £2.5bn buyout from Spanish communications provider Telefonica last year, said Endemol would probably buy smaller producers. However, commenting on ITV, he added: "This one is an example of a combination that could make sense, depending on numbers."

- US actors reject pay deal

The leading Hollywood studios have failed to agree a new pay deal with the biggest actors union in the US - raising the possibility of a strike that could impact UK broadcasters' key TV shows. The Screen Actors' Guild, which represents 122,000 actors in film, television and digital media, have rejected the studios' final pay offer.

- UK set for switchover

More than two-thirds (68%) of the UK's 60 million TV sets now receive digital TV, suggesting the UK is well set for the shutdown of analogue TV signals in less than four years' time. According to Ofcom's Digital Progress Report for the first quarter of 2008, the total number of digitally linked TV sets has increased by about 7 million from 33.5 million to 40.5 million over the past year.


- CSA sale completed

ITV has completed the £500,000 sale of cinema sales house Carlton Screen Advertising to Digital Cinema Media. CSA is now known as Digital Cinema Media, a joint venture between Odeon Cinemas and Cineworld Group. The sale, originally agreed in March, was referred to the Competition Commission and received regulatory approval on 1 July.


- Standard sales slump

The Evening Standard's circulation dropped back below 300,000 copies in June with a 1.6% decrease, while City AM reached a new distribution record, according to the latest ABC figures. Out of the free newspapers targeting London, thelondonpaper, City AM and Metro all posted small circulation increases. City AM's increased by just 0.1% from 101,758 copies in May to 101,855 copies in June, while thelondonpaper also rose by 0.1%, from 500,235 in May.

- NI in commercial revamp

News International has made several senior appointments in its restructured commercial division, led by the appointment of Ian Rees as head of trading at News Group Newspapers. Rees, previously head of trading operations at Times Newspapers, will be replaced by Liam Reynolds, the NGN trading director. Naim Halloum, advertising manager at thelondonpaper, becomes its head of trading, while Sian Roberts, head of magazines at NGN, is to become head of trading for magazines at NI.

NEWSMAKER - JOHN SMITH, chief executive, BB C Worldwide

With the BBC still grappling with the impact of its £2bn lower-than-hoped-for licence fee settlement last year, its commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, is poised to play a central role in the broadcaster's future.

During John Smith's tenure as BBC Worldwide chief executive, its annual pre-tax profits have more than doubled, to £117.7m in the last financial year, with annual sales approaching £1bn. While there was a slip in year-on-year pre-tax profits at BBC Magazines - from £20m to £16.7m - its TV channels arm, including its UKTV joint venture, posted a rise in pre-tax profits to £17.8m.

SOUNDBITE - "He's pissed he didn't get $33. He would have taken it in a flash"

Rupert Murdoch, commenting on Microsoft's failed Yahoo takeover of $44.6bn offer or $33 a share, referring to one of Yahoo's biggest shareholders, renowned media investor Gordon Crawford

STAT TO STEAL - $200m - the amount of money Google reportedly expects to make from ads on YouTube this year. Google paid $1.65bn for YouTube in 2006.

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