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The Grouch – 16/09/10

Standards, sunshine, snogging and savings.

Published on September 16th 2010.

The Grouch – 16/09/10

Evening Sub-Standard. Again.
The London Evening Standard of London ran another tiresome Salford-bashing piece this week, entitled: Salford Quays: Wish you were here?

Stephen Robinson, the author, predictably rubbishes the move although at one point, three-quarters in, there is an almost begrudging admission that Manchester and Salford are, you know, not entirely bad.

Oddly, however, and in a new twist for London-centric media coverage of the BBC move, Robinson suggests the divorce courts will soon be flooded with BBC top brass. “Families will stay at home in London and marriages will come under pressure because of the Monday to Thursday bachelor-boy and bachelor-girl socialising in Salford's bars and restaurants,” he says. Salford Quays as an open air-swinging club? Lime bar as a keys-in den of inequity? There’s a use Peel hasn’t yet thought of. (That sounds like Chorlton. Ed. Click here.

The Standard also uses the example of the recent cricket betting scandal as to why the move is a terrible idea. ‘How can the BBC Sports department, or Five Live, cover that story from Manchester?’ the article asks.

The BBC must be more stretched than we first imagined, in that case, otherwise you’d expect them to send out a BBC News journalist (based in London) or one of its regional sports correspondents based in the capital, just as they are based in other locales.

What other horrific conditions will relocated workers have to put up with on Salford Quays? ‘They will look in vain for a Waitrose, or indeed any other supermarket or restaurant that reminds them of home.’ They could always go to the branch opening in Spinningfields if they feel the need to cling to a brand of supermarket as a comfort blanket. They are probably a lot less shallow than Robinson gives them credit for, however. Or they may just discover the joys of Booths instead.

What else? The Imperial War Museum is dreary and MediaCityUK isn’t a very nice name.

The tone of the coverage regarding the move has started to take on a strangely desperate air as the weeks have progressed. Salford City Council pondered a response at this week’s cabinet meeting, but a dignified silence will get them much more respect.

The Standard doth protest too much. Peel Group, on the other hand, will let its commercial nous do the talking.

Good news for Mason Williams after Liverpool One blow
Manchester PR firm Mason Williams had a bit of good new this week following a fairly bruising account loss. After watching Liverpool One, arguably its biggest client, switch to Weber Shandwick and McCann Manchester, Mason Williams swiftly announced it had signed up NH Hotels, one of Europe’s largest hotel groups, which is based in Madrid.

The group has hired Mason Williams to look after its portfolio of luxury resorts in Spain, Italy and the Canary Islands. I’d imagine there was a clamour for client meetings and carrying out the pitch for that tasty account.

Mason Williams also has an office in Mallorca, also known as the home of Rita Rowe, the firm’s founder and managing director, which no doubt came in handy.

As a side point, NH is opening its first resort in Donnafugata, Sicily next month.


Whelan secures another star signing
Dave Whelan has dabbled into the transfer market again, although not for Wigan Athletic. This time, he’s been strengthening the first team line-up at JJB, appointing Kate Hayes, former international retail director at Ben Sherman, as trading director. Hayes has also worked at Nike and Tesco.com and according to Keith Jones, JJB chief executive, she has been drafted in to help drive ‘the turnaround of JJB Sports.’ The firm has been through a choppy 18 months, but it seems to have come out the other side. Now all Whelan needs to do is hope The Latics stay in the Premiership...

Give us a kiss
Entertainment producer Endemol UK has pitched up in Manchester where it is producing a show for BBC Three called Snog, Marry, Avoid? Funnily enough, that’s the choice most people are given when faced with Gordo, Sleuth and The Grouch. Remarkable is filming and producing in Manchester for the first time and the programme will air in 2011. We’re waiting for the call.

Manchester Media hub no. 371
MediaCity is all very well and good, but Confidential is already at the centre of a digital hub. We’ve been joined in Quay House by media news website How Do and property news website Place North West. All we need now is an on-site bar and we’re laughing.

Council combining top jobs to save cash
Manchester City Council is hoping to save itself £82,500 a year by creating a new job, that of assistant chief executive (finance and performance). The saving will come by combining it with the post of head of financial management. One down, 13,000 to go...

The Grouch is brought to you by Head of a Man (with Red Eyes) – LS Lowry © Lowry Collection. You can see the real deal at Lowry Favourites.

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AnonymousSeptember 17th 2010.

Pretty sure Dave Whelan now owns DW Sports and isn't at JJB anymore?

WhitesidesOnsideSeptember 17th 2010.

As far im concerned the London based employees of the BBC have every right to be miffed at having to move from central London to Salford Quays - hardly Manchester bashing, just an honest assesment. If i was based in London & worked in the media industry - i'd hardly be enthralled at the idea of nights in the capital being replaced with the complete greyness of Salford. From someone that has suffered here for 31 years.

sz837rSeptember 17th 2010.

During the article on the bbc move, the recent Pakistani cricket scandal
was used as an example of how the base had to be in London to cover such
stories, e.g. all the major suspects, sources, authorities etc were in
London and for bbc sport to travel daily to cover it from manchester would
not work. It makes you wonder how these captital city based news agencies
cover any stories that do not take place in London as surely the same principle
applies. I agree they must be feeling quite threatened and their desparation is
displayed in their increasingly faulty logic.

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