Granada Media is to close down TSMS, the United News & Media-owned television airtime sales house, by the end of the year following its purchase of United’s ITV franchises.
The move is expected to leave over 100 of TSMS’ 300 staff without jobs, including senior executives and chief executive Jerry Hill.
The remaining employees, including sales people and back office staff, will be hired by Granada Enterprises (the renamed Granada Media Sales (GMS)), which will take on airtime sales for former United ITV franchises Anglia and Meridian.
Hill, who says he will be looking for another job in the media industry, comments: “I endorse United’s move to be big in ITV or get out. I’ve fought for consolidation, though I’m very sad that, as an entity, TSMS has no role. There are many people here who are highly employable in the industry at large.”
The move follows the announcement last week of Granada’s purchase of United’s ITV franchises Meridian, Anglia and HTV for £1.75bn.
Last week’s deal has to be ratified by shareholders in September, after which the task of closing TSMS’ Hangar Lane headquarters will begin. The closure forms part of the promised £39m savings to result from the deal.
GMS directors are to retain the same positions at Granada Enterprises, which will be headed by chief executive Mick Desmond, managing director Phil France and sales director Simon Pardon.
TSMS’ independent sales contracts with Ulster TV and SMG’s Scottish franchises are up for grabs.