UK media and telecoms correspondent
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Apr 15, 2015

In British election, a taste for the absurd brings some relief

LONDON (Reuters) – In an election that will shape the destiny of the United Kingdom, anguish over how to eat bacon sandwiches and hot dogs has brought a note of absurdity to the battle for Downing Street.

The May 7 vote could throw Britain’s membership of the European Union into doubt or give Scottish nationalists, who want to break up the United Kingdom, the role of kingmaker in the London parliament.

Mar 9, 2015

WPP has strong January trading after hitting 2014 target

LONDON (Reuters) – WPP (WPP.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s biggest advertising company, said it had seen demand improve in January after strong trading in North America and China helped the British firm meet 2014 targets and lift its return to investors.

The British company, owner of the JWT and Ogilvy & Mather agencies, has outperformed its peers in recent years due to its wide geographical spread and strength in digital advertising, and said it expected this to continue in 2015.

Mar 9, 2015

Guardian owner sees higher losses as pace of change ramps up

LONDON, March 9 (Reuters) – Britain’s Guardian Media Group
(GMG) expects its losses to increase in the next few years as it
invests to keep up with the rapid pace of change ripping through
the newspaper industry, its outgoing chief executive said.

The owner of the Guardian, known for breaking news of
widespread surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency
from the leaks of analyst Edward Snowden, said it expected to
record a loss of around 30 million pounds ($45.2 million) when
it reports full-year results this summer.

Mar 4, 2015

Former Virgin Media FD to float buy-fix-sell vehicle

LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) – Eamonn O’Hare, a former Virgin
Media finance director, plans to list a new company to raise
cash to buy, turn around and sell assets in the European
technology, media and telecommunications sector with a value of
up to 3 billion pounds ($4.58 billion).

O’Hare, also former chief financial officer at the UK arm of
retailer Tesco, has set up a firm called Zegona and is
seeking to raise an initial 30 million pounds ($45.8 million)
through a placing.

Mar 4, 2015

Reed’s Risk boss reaps rewards from tackling online fraudsters

LONDON (Reuters) – The softly-spoken head of the Risk division at Reed Elsevier does not wish to thank the U.S. online fraudsters who have helped drive his unit’s growth, but his investors may not be so bashful.

Mark Kelsey’s Risk and Business Information division has been one of the stand out performers for Europe’s largest media company in recent years, with its technology helping U.S. state governments and firms to spot and prevent online fraud.

Mar 4, 2015

ITV heralds return to strength with special dividend

LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) – The British broadcaster ITV
declared victory in its transformation plan on
Wednesday, returning cash to shareholders after strong
international growth and new revenue streams helped it to beat
2014 profit forecasts.

Adam Crozier took over the top job at ITV in 2010 when
Britain’s biggest listed free-to-air broadcaster was on its
knees, buffeted by the fluctuations of advertising markets and
haemorrhaging viewers to the higher quality programming coming
from the publicly owned BBC.

Mar 2, 2015

Rebekah Brooks in talks to return to News Corp: source

LONDON (Reuters) – Rebekah Brooks, the former Rupert Murdoch protegee cleared last year of running an illegal campaign to hack into phones for tabloid scoops, is in talks to return to the media conglomerate, a source said on Monday.

A person familiar with the situation said Brooks, who rose in 14 years from the most junior newsroom position to edit the country’s biggest selling newspaper, was likely to return to a role focusing on new digital and social media avenues.

Mar 2, 2015

Trinity Mirror to resume dividends after slim profit rise

LONDON (Reuters) – British newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror Plc (TNI.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will pay its first dividend since 2008 after tight cost controls and growing digital sales helped it post a slight rise in full-year earnings.

Trinity, which has been battling falling circulation and lower advertising rates at its Daily and Sunday Mirror titles, said on Monday it would pay a final dividend of 3 pence per share and planned to increase that to 5 pence in 2015.

Feb 27, 2015

Pearson says benefits of restructuring coming through

LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) – British publisher Pearson
forecast a return to earnings growth after two years of
restructuring, helped by improved fortunes in North America
where falls in college enrolments have started to ease.

Pearson, the world leader in educational publishing, beat
forecasts for several years around the turn of the decade,
before embarking on a restructuring programme to increase its
focus on the faster growth areas of digital services and
emerging markets to complement its core U.S. education division.

Feb 26, 2015

UK lawmakers urge changes to BBC license fee

LONDON (Reuters) – The BBC should reduce its output and the television license fee should eventually be scrapped, a parliamentary committee has said after considering the role of the publicly funded broadcaster in the wake of a string of scandals and industry changes.

The 93-year-old organization has a central presence in British cultural life, with its TV, radio and online content reaching 96 percent of the population on a weekly basis, and millions more abroad.

    • About Kate

      "I am based in London and cover the UK media and telecoms sectors including BSkyB, Vodafone and WPP. I have previously covered UK general news and sports including major events such as the Olympics and football World Cups."
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