The Carlton and Granada merger is expected to result in up to 300 redundancies, as the companies combine their sales operations and to prompt other commercial broadcasters such as Channel 5, BSkyB and Channel 4 to consider merging their own sales operations in order to compete.
It is understood that Carlton Media Sales employs about 300 sales staff while Granada Enterprises has about 400. Although not all the sales staff work on ITV there are still expected to be significant redundancies and Carlton and Granada have estimated that by combining the sales houses they will be able to make savings of around &£20m.
The sales operation is likely to fall under a new broadcasting division to be set up at the merged ITV, expected to be headed by Mick Desmond, joint managing director of ITV network. It is unclear whether Carlton Media Sales chief executive Martin Bowley or Granada Enterprises chief executive Graham Duff will head sales. Industry speculation says Granada is likely to win out in the battle for control.