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They’re all on their bikes: Emily Bell, Adrian Chiles, just about everybody in outdoor

Emily Bell, the sainted boss of the Guardian’s web operation, is heading to the US to be a professor of journalism at Columbia University’s journalism school in New York.

Adrian Chiles, the likeable Brummie who used to host the One Show and Match of the Day Two is off to ITV to present its World Cup programmes (curtains for Steve Rider?) and then adorn the GMTV sofa, now wholly-owned by ITV.

And just about everybody you can think of, although not necessarily name, in the UK outdoor industry is being fired as the US companies who bought into it (expensively) finally realise that giving crazy guarantees to advertisers is a recipe for disaster, as both Carlton Screen Advertising and Pearl & Dean in the cinema realised a decade or so ago. Not that they’ve been able to do much about it since.

What have these events in common?

Well nothing very much apart to point out that the bigger the organisation in question, the bigger their mistakes are likely to be.

Emily Bell has done her time at the Guardian but a new CEO is on the way and it’s almost certain that he or she will at least contemplate bringing in a pay-wall strategy which Emily has adamantly opposed.

Chiles was peed off because co-presenter Christine Bleakley went off with Frank Lampard and the Beeb brought in Chris Evans to present the One Show on Fridays.

The likes of CBS and Viacom paid top dollar to buy their way into the extremely lucrative UK outdoor business; sacked most of the people who knew about posters and brought in people who thought you could sell the medium like TV, circa 1989.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Anyway good luck to Emily, she will doubtless rear a new generation of fantastic journalists. And Chiles is a good bloke too; cheer up Adrian, West Brom have been promoted and if England win the World Cup girls will be coming along like London buses.

As for the outdoor mob…that’s a bit more serious.

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Adrian Chiles CBS Emily Bell guardian one show viacom

About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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