Friday, October 22 2010,
UKTVSky MediaBroadcastingThinkbox has reacted with disappointment at Channel 5's decision to quit the commercial television marketing body.
The broadcaster, now owned by Daily Express-owner Richard Desmond, has opted to relinquish its shareholding in Thinkbox from January 2011. That means it will no longer financially support the organisation.
Desmond recently launched a major process of cost-cutting at Channel 5, including the loss of up to 80 jobs as he seeks to make around £20m of operational savings.
Responding to Channel 5's departure, Thinkbox chief executive Tess Alps said that it was "a disappointing decision" by the firm's new management, but maintained that the "door is always open" for the broadcaster to return.
"Inevitably, the loss of financial support from Five will limit the amount of work we are able to do, but, as far as possible, it is business as usual and we will continue to work hard for our shareholders and help advertisers get the best out of TV," she said.
"Thinkbox represents the vast majority of the TV advertising market in the UK and we are looking forward to welcoming UKTV as a new member in January.
Following the withdrawal of Channel 5, the Thinkbox shareholders will be Channel 4, GMTV, ITV, Sky Media and Turner Media Innovations.
UKTV has agreed to join the shareholders in early 2011, with Julia Jordan - UKTV's executive director of business & operations - due to take a seat on the Thinkbox board.
Despite Channel 5's departure, Thinkbox still represents more than 90% of the UK's commercial TV market via the shareholder's owned or partner channels.
Andy Barnes, Channel 4's sales director and the Thinkbox chairman, said: "We're very disappointed by Five's decision, but the rest of Thinkbox's shareholders are 100% behind the organisation and the magnificent work it does.
"Thinkbox makes a genuine, clear impact on the fortunes of the TV advertising industry; it doesn't make sense to undermine that."
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