MindShare commercial director Bill Kinlay has been made chief executive of MindShare’s operation in Ireland, which is due to open in March. The company, which has billings of 36m and 23 employees, will be the country’s biggest media agency…

…Giulio Malegori, director of Blumedia, the Italian CIA Medianetwork company, has been hired to run the Italian offices of the new Italian office of MindShare.

Talk Radio will launch its first masthead programme next Friday (15th) with OK! Magazine. It is called OK To Talk.

Manning Gottlieb Media has won the 1.5m account for Absolut Vodka.

Bupa is understood to have shortlisted Optimedia and MediaVest for its 7m media account.

ITN’s News At Ten, which is being axed this year after 31 years, has been rated the UK’s most watched primetime news programme by BARB. The show beat the BBC’s Nine O’Clock News average nightly figure of 5.2 million viewers by 500,000.

Mills & Allen, the poster contractor, has combined its operations division with airport advertising contractor and sister company Sky Sites and called it Expression UK. The new division will be headed by former Sky Sites operations director Mark Webb (left). David McEvoy (right), Mills & Allen marketing director, is taking on the additional role of marketing director at Sky Sites…

…Guy Cheston, managing director of Sky Sites, is leaving to become director general of AP Systems, Sky Sites sister company based in Paris.

EMAP has appointed Mark Story as managing director of its dance music station, Kiss. Story will continue in his role as managing director of EMAP London station Magic 105.4, which was formerly Melody Radio.

Time Out has awarded its 500,000 media account to

Total Media. The previous incumbent was Motive Communications.

Carat managing director Mark Craze has been promoted to chief executive.Client services director Colin Mills has moved to managing director; Neil Jones will take over his position.

Times Newspapers says 25,000 schools have enrolled in its Free Books for Schools promotion run in conjunction with News Group and Walkers Crisps.

Distinctive Publishing, owned by Lyn Lavers, has sold upmarket quarterly magazine Londinium to Morris Publishing.

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