The Bluffer's Guide: Your essential companion to this week's big events

Carlton Communications

In the news because?

First-half figures are out on Wednesday.


13 years.

Early days?

A volatile tip-sheet business, called Fleet Street Letter, before Michael Green reversed into it in 1983 and renamed it Carlton. Then it was worth pounds 44m. Now it is worth pounds 2.7bn.

So what's Mr Green like?

A darling of the stock market or a ruthless 1990s-style businessman, depending on where you sit. Keen bridge player. One of the most powerful men in television. Otherwise, it's a bit hard to say as he generally keeps a low profile. But that doesn't stop the knives coming out.

Why so?

There are plenty of disgruntled ex-employees, fired from acquisitions throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s. He also got up the nose of Standard Life, which opposed an executive share scheme that rewarded management handsomely, even when the shares were not performing particularly well.

On the other hand?

He has been hailed as one of the coming generation of business grandees, stepping into the shoes of the likes of Lords Hanson and Weinstock - or so a recent article in the Investors Chronicle intimated. He is also a dedicated supporter of the Conservatives. In 1993, he paid out pounds 15,000 to the folks at Smith Square. Cynics like to point out it was the same year he was awarded the lucrative London TV franchise.

He will mainly be remembered for making Carlton a dominant force in British broadcasting in the course of a few years. It owns the ITV weekday franchise for London - roundly abused by broadsheet critics for the poor quality of its offerings - and the Midlands franchise. It also owns video production and distribution businesses, as well as Quantel and Solid State Logic, which make equipment for the film and TV industry.

So what's happening?

The stock market is expecting pre-tax first-half profits of pounds 131m to pounds 141m. Given that the company only managed pounds 100m in the whole of 1992, the scale of the achievement is plain to see, except to Terry Smith.

Terry who?

Mr Smith achieved brief notoriety when he was sacked from the big Swiss broker, UBS, for daring to reveal the dirty tricks of company accounts in his book, Accounting for Growth. In a second, revised edition, due out in July, Carlton is one of his chief targets. Mr Smith says that Carlton's returns for investors are no more than pedestrian, once goodwill is written back into the accounts.

Next move for Carlton?

Ever since Carlton became a major player, its name has been linked to virtually every other remaining independent operator. Many predict a bid for HTV, the Welsh franchise. Others believe its ambitions are on an altogether grander scale. Its main rival, MAI, has teamed up with United Newspapers, publishers of the Express titles. There is every possibility Mr Green will attempt something similar. There could be news of these developments this week. Then again, given his bridge playing skills, maybe not.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Wes Brown is sent-off
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Day In a Page

The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower