British tabloid publisher Trinity Mirror and its broadsheet counterpart Telegraph Group intend to establish a joint ad sales operation to handle their national newspaper titles.
Branded Apollo Sales, the venture is due to launch by the end of 2002. Under current plans, the sales unit will be an enlarged version of the Telegraph's existing Telegraph Sales, with Trinity staff moving to the new operation. Apollo's management board will be drawn from both groups.
However, the deal is not yet finalised. "There is still a lot of talking to be done between ourselves and the Telegraph," revealed Mark Harvsom, managing director of Trinity's national papers, "and the devil of these things is always in the detail. We have decided to go public on this at an early stage so that we can conduct these discussions in an open and honest way involving our respective staff and customers."
The move follows falls in advertising at both groups, with Trinity posting a 4% decline in 2001 ad revenues at its major papers (The Mirror, Sunday Mirror, Sunday People, Daily Record and Sunday Mail).
Explained David Len Sanderson, managing director of the Telegraph's sales arm: "We believe this venture will not only have significant long-term benefits for both companies but will also provide increased opportunities for our customers."
Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff