Planet Media - the major developments of the week

MediaCom Worldwide, Hewlett-Packard, WPP, BSkyB, Current Media, Daily Mirror, Mpora.TV, Unanimis, Virgin Media, ITV, BT, ITV1, Channel 4, Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, RDF Media, Endemol, IPC, Reed Elsevier, Haymarket, Council of Mortgage Lenders, IAB, News International.

Planet Media - the major developments of the week
Planet Media - the major developments of the week

AGENCIES

MediaCom staffs up
Recently installed MediaCom Worldwide chief executive Stephen Allan has announced a string of international hires to the WPP operation. Among them, David Kyffin joins from GroupM, where he was managing director of direct/digital, as global chief return on investment and direct marketing officer. Simon Tray has been appointed chief financial officer of MediaCom Worldwide, having held the same position at GroupM UK for the past three years.

HP's £220m review
Hewlett-Packard has kicked off a review of its £220m global media planning and buying business for two of its business groups, both handled by ZenithOptimedia. The review includes the media business for HP's corporate personal systems group, plus its image and printing group businesses. Last year, HP spent £10.5m on advertising in the UK, according to Nielsen Media Research.

WPP and Nielsen swap
WPP has swapped certain assets with the Nielsen Company ahead of its acquisition of market research outfit TNS. Nielsen will now own 100% of AGBNielsen Media Research, the television audience media measurement business, by acquiring the 50% held by WPP. In return, Nielsen will transfer to WPP its SRDS service, which provides media rates and data to the ad industry, and its PERQ/HCI suite that offers insights into media planning, trading and post-campaign effectiveness in the field of healthcare.

MOBILE

BSkyB in mobile ad offer
BSkyB is to sell ads around its mobile services for the first time, with Fiat and Adidas the first two brands to take advantage of the new platform. Advertisers will now be able to sell around Sky's numerous mobile properties such as Sky Sports and Sky News. The platform will be sold by the digital arm of BSkyB's sales operation, Sky Media.

DIGITAL

Current Media slims by 30
Current Media, the owner of the global user-generated content channel run by former US vice-president Al Gore, Current TV, is to make 30 staff redundant. It said 60 positions have been cut, but about half of staff affected will be offered new jobs. This marks a rapid change in fortunes for the company, having announced plans earlier this year to float on the New York Stock Exchange.

Mirror cashback offer
The Daily Mirror is expanding its online presence with the launch of an internet site offering users cash-back when they make internet purchases. MirrorCashback.com will make the offer when users purchase online from 1,400 retailers, including Tesco, Boots and Asda. The newspaper said the service, which is free, will allow shoppers to earn up to 10% cashback every time they buy through the site.

Mpora.TV in Eurosport deal
Online sports channel Mpora.TV is to launch an extreme sports section on joint venture sports portal Yahoo Eurosport. The extreme sports section will form part of the broader Yahoo Eurosport offering, with exclusive footage from the extreme sports calendar.

Unanimis wins music work
Digital ad sales house Unanimis has been appointed to handle online ad sales for newly launched music website Passionato. The site launched in September and has been billed as i-Tunes for classical music lovers. Passionato has already built up a database of 10,000 registered users, with a strong presence among over-40 males.

TELEVISION

Virgin workforce shock
Virgin Media is to axe about 15% of its workforce, cutting up to 2,200 jobs by 2012 in a restructure aimed at saving £120m annually. The company, which operates fixed-line telephony, mobile, internet and pay-TV services, plans to restructure its entire operation. Most of the changes should be in place between the end of next year and the end of 2010. Virgin Media would not reveal which sections will face job cuts, adding that a period of consultation is under way.

ITV signs BT Vision deal
ITV has signed a two-year deal with BT to supply a range of current and library programming to customers of its digital TV service, BT Vision. The arrangement is the first deal ITV has signed with a set-top box VoD service. It joins BBC, Channel 4 and Five on BT Vision's TV Replay service. From December 2008, BT Vision customers will be able to catch up on programmes including The X Factor and Coronation Street, as well as library content.

Celebrity boost for ITV
ITV1 had 8.9 million viewers for the new series of I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!, which started on Sunday night, according to unofficial figures. The 90-minute opening episode had a 34.9% share of the 9pm to 10.30pm audience. Earlier, the Antiques Roadshow drew 10.1 million and a 38.6% share of the 7.15pm to 8.15pm audience to BBC 1, as people tuned in to see the show's first £1m-valued item.

C4 in tourism promo deal
The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism is to sponsor Channel 4's new six-part series, The Ascent of Money, in a six-figure deal. It is the first time the island's tourism department has embarked on a TV sponsorship deal, which began last night (Monday). The tourism department will also have a presence on C4's 4oD online platform.

RDF and De Mol in buyout
The management of independent producer RDF Media is teaming up with Endemol founder John de Mol to launch a £50m buyout of the company. De Mol is fronting his part of the bid via his investment vehicle Cyrte Investments, which holds a 27.5% stake in RDF Media.

MAGAZINES

IPC sells three magazines
IPC has sold three of its motoring titles to specialist magazine publisher Kelsey Publishing. IPC has offloaded Land Rover World, Volkswagen Golf+ and 4x4 - titles it has owned since 1997. All 12 IPC staff working on the titles will move across to Kelsey.

Reed trade sale in doubt
Reed Elsevier, the publishing and information provider, said it is on course to meet its full-year sales targets, but warned it might not succeed in selling its trade magazines division, which has dropped in value from an estimated £1.3bn to £650-£850m since the sale was announced earlier this year. In an interim management statement, the group said that "in the present economic and credit environment, a satisfactory outcome (to the sale) cannot be certain".

Haymarket axes 50 posts ...
Haymarket, the UK's largest privately owned magazine publisher that also owns Media Week, is to cut 50 posts in response to the economic downturn. Lord Heseltine, chairman of the group, said following a "fairly robust" first half of the year, trading had deteriorated in the past few months, while paper, print, power and postage costs had increased. He added that with redeployment across the business, it is expected the number of redundancies will be less.

 ... while Emap sheds 40
Emap is another publisher to axe jobs in an attempt to reduce its cost base. It has earmarked around 40 jobs cuts, including sales positions, across its magazine division, Emap Inform, which publishes 21 titles, employs about 400 staff - half of whom are editorial. It is understood the publisher is hoping to mitigate the cuts by redeploying some of the affected staff within the group.

OUTDOOR

Clear Channel in decline
Clear Channel Outdoor's revenue declined in the UK in Q3 as the group reported a modest overall decline in global revenue. Losses in the Americas were offset by its international arm, to leave Clear Channel Outdoor's global revenue down 0.5% year on year. Revenue in its international sector, which includes the UK, increased by $12.5m (£8.4m) during Q3 compared with the same period last year.

IN THE NEWS - Slump in property ads prompts cost-cutting at Johnston and Trinity

Official figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders showed the number of mortgages taken out in September have fallen to a record low, and Trinity Mirror and Johnston Press each said their property ad revenues roughly halved year on year between June and October.

Both are responding with plans to cut costs - Johnston Press has made £7.6m of cost savings during the first half of 2008 and plans to cut more next year.

Trinity Mirror plans to cut costs by at least £45m in the next two years, after group ad revenue fell 20.1% in the 17 weeks to 26 October. Property ad revenue fell by 46.4% year on year, while recruitment dropped 27%.

Johnston Press ad revenue tumbled 15.5% year on year in the first 10 months of 2008, with property, jobs and motor revenues falling sharply. Total ad revenue was 15.5% down on the same period last year. Between the 27th and 44th weeks of the year, year-on-property ad revenue fell 48.4%, employment 32.17%, motor 24.3% and display 12.1%.

SOUNDBITE
"Government is moving away from thinking online is ungovernable" - Andy Burnham, speaking at last week's IAB Engage Conference, referring to government plans to regulate online content more closely

STAT TO STEAL
69,000 - Lead in readers that Associated's London Lite had over News International's thelondonpaper between October 2007 and September 2008. Source: NRS

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