Anxious breakfast times ahead for TV-am's successor

BRUCE GYNGELL, the chairman of TV-am, is a man accustomed to receiving rueful letters. When TV-am was outbid for its franchise last year, Margaret Thatcher, architect of the system, wrote to her favourite television executive describing her shock.

Yesterday, as he prepared for this morning's final broadcast, which will be followed by a private wake for the 100 staff who remain out of 368, Mr Gyngell, with a note of bitterness in his voice, read from a letter written by David Glencross, chief executive of the Independent Television Commission, the regulator who helped deliver the executioner's blow.

The letter thanked him for 'showing that breakfast television does work in this country'. Mr Glencross added: 'Your successor will have to work very hard to keep the loyalty of viewers you have served so well.'

After its disastrous start in 1983 Mr Gyngell had, by 1986, turned the company into a goldmine: for 1992 he predicts record advertising revenue of pounds 86m.

Mr Gyngell, who is 63, is severing all links with British television, returning to Australia in the new year to become chairman of Channel 9. His offer to help sort out HTV, the financially- stretched Bristol and Welsh company, with TV-am cash and management expertise, was rejected.

TV-am has devoted energy to finding jobs for its staff; 300 have other employment. It set up a special office to monitor job adverts, ensured that each person's curriculum vitae was professionally presented and carried out training sessions before interviews.

A number of TV-am's screen personalities are switching to its South Bank successor, GMTV. These include the health expert Vernon Jones, and presenter Lorraine Kelly, who fronts its magazine section Top of the Morning. Mike Morris, its anchorman, however, has no slot.

There are clear signs of anxiety and first night nerves at GMTV (owned by Carlton, LWT, The Guardian & Manchester Evening News and Disney), which is saddled both with a high bid and requirement to pay a fixed 15 per cent of its revenue to the Treasury. After franchise changeovers, audiences traditionally fall away while the critics savage the newcomers' output.

More seriously, the ITV breakfast audience is under attack from Channel 4's wacky Big Breakfast: in the week before Christmas (ending 20 December)when the school holidays began, its audiences soared above 1 million for the first time since its September launch, while TV-am slipped below 2 million, at 1.9 million.

The GMTV programming director Lis Howell accepts loyal breakfast viewers may be irritated by the changeover and is trying to soften the blow: the famous TV- am sofas have been complemented by sets which look as if they were purchased from Ikea.

Predictions by the stockbrokers James Capel and Smith New Court are that GMTV, which is taking the franchise from TV-am, will lose pounds 4m to pounds 5m in its first year of operation, writes Jason Nisse.

Meanwhile Zenith, the media buying group owned by Saatchi & Saatchi, predicts that GMTV's advertising revenue in 1993 will be just pounds 60m, pounds 20m less than had been hoped for when the franchise application was put in. Out of this GMTV has to pay the Government its franchise fee of pounds 36m plus pounds 9m to cover the statutory charge set down by the Independent Television Commission. Running costs in GMTV's first year are estimated to be about pounds 35m, leaving the company with a projected loss of pounds 20m.

Christopher Stoddard, GMTV's chief executive, dismisses Zenith's forecasts as lacking hard evidence. He said: 'We have firm bookings for more than pounds 50m of sales and will exceed our predictions.'

He says start-up costs are 15 per cent below GMTV's budget. 'We are hoping to at least break even in 1993.'

GMTV faces perhaps the most difficult of all markets for revenue. But all the franchise winners face the problem that the economic conditions they are facing are much worse than they had predicted when they made their franchise bids in May 1991. Then, advertising revenue had fallen for the first time in nearly 20 years. No one in ITV thought it would fall further, but in real terms 1992 has been worse than 1991.

All the ITV companies predicted real growth - when inflation is taken into account - in advertising expenditure during the 1990s.

According to Zenith's predictions, ITV's advertising revenue will shrink in every year up until 2000 and in constant 1991 prices, advertising sales in 2000 will be at least pounds 100m less than last year.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
Sport
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)
football

Newcastle winger is in Argentina having chemotherapy

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
News
We are phenomenally good at recognising faces; the study showed that humans have been selected to be unique and easily recognisable
science

Human faces unique 'because we don't recognise each other by smell'

Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show?
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
news

Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised

Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Student
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is to offer a BA degree in Performance and Creative Enterprise
student

Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum
theatre

Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'

Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Data Warehouse Developer / Analyst (SQL, SSIS, stored procedures)

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

RE Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Teacher of Religious Education ...

Maths Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Long term Math Post - potentiall...

Science Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: We are currently recruiting for ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week