Katz Media renames UK group after hiring Lynds

US media sales organisation Katz Media is to rename its UK division.The company, Katz International, will become known as Katz (SL) International after the appointment of Simon Lynds as president.

Lynds joins on March 25 with an immediate brief to sort out the radio business, formerly known as Independent Radio Sales, in the wake of losing the EMAP Radio sales contract and leading personnel (MW last week). He will also be responsible for building Katz’s fledgling cable sales activities.

“My priority is to stabilise the organisation and restructure the business,” he says. “It is also, to ensure existing clients remain and to develop a new business platform in both radio and TV, enabling Katz to compete with the best.”

News of Lynds appointment follows the departure of IRS managing director Stan Park and sales director Julia Calo. However, the shake-up is understood to have been on the cards for a number of months, as Katz sought to boost its UK media sales business.

Lynds, who founded Scott Lynds with former partner Mark Wood, now head of sponsorship at Sky Television, has built up a strong business in cable TV airtime sales.

However, the emergence of new competition like Carlton – which recently acquired SelecTV, including the sales contract previously held by Scott Lynds – is introducing new market pressures.

Katz already has a handful of cable sales contracts including Channel One, Sci-Fi Channel and Black Entertainment Television. Lynds’ arrival, combined with the financial clout of Katz, looks set to enable the company to be more competitive.

Lynds describes his parting with Scott Lynds as “amicable”, and the future of the company is not thought to be in doubt. Apart from cable sales, the company is involved in television production and design.

The appointment of his successor now rests with his partner, Nick Scott.

Scott was unavailable for comment as Marketing Week went to press.

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