Has TBS gone Nuts in agreeing a magazine TV tie-up?
Has TBS gone Nuts in agreeing a magazine TV tie-up?
Maybe this idea of integrating TV and magazines wasn't such a bad one after all. It didn't get off to a great start a decade ago - the Emap music channels have been slow burners and everyone else got scared by the numbers or found that TV and print managers don't speak the same language.

But it seems a few gaps in the TV market, a touch of broadband, a dash of experience and the pressing need to grow have provided the ingredients for a potentially tastier cake.

Emap's sale of 50% of its music TV business to Channel 4 last month seemed a sensible way to leverage the two companies' expertise. Now Turner Broadcasting Systems has joint ventured with IPC lads mag Nuts, which, like TBS, is part of Time Warner.

A print-TV project like this is new for Turner. Nuts TV will be a four-hour block on Freeview and broadband starting on 12 September and will debut on mobile phones early in 2008. It has ambitions to be on Sky and Virgin Media as well.

But is marrying TBS, known for Scooby Dooand Casablanca, to a lads mag brand best known for bare breasts and, well, more bare breasts, akin to Denise Van Outen presenting Newsnight?

Nuts TV won't be quite as lurid on screen as in print, and TBS and IPC are serious. Nuts TV will be mostly live programming created at purpose-built studios in Battersea by ETV. The plan is for Nuts' 295,000 weekly readers, almost all from the sought-after 18 to 34 year-old male demographic, to tune in for some late-night fun from 9pm to 1am daily.

The channel will be ad-supported and heavily cross-promoted by the magazine and plans are being laid by TBS to land a couple of big male-skewing brands like Xbox to do more than simply buy 30-second ad spots. If integrating the advertisers into the programming works, then the programme budget has the potential to grow rapidly.

Freeview is short on young male programming (something Virgin 1 identified in its research) and the magazine world is breaking down barriers fast. Check out Dennis Publishing's Monkey, an online weekly email filled with content including lad-targeted videos straight off YouTube.

TBS is taking a new step out of library channel-land into programmes, but, with the mix of young males, the Freeview platform, a bunch of TV-hungry advertisers and the TBS/IPC expertise, this could be a tasty business model.

Has GCap Media really recovered from its troubled times?
Where GCap goes, the radio world follows. That has not been such a great thing for the past couple of years as GCap digested the merger with GWR. But now GCap is on the rise on the back of a successful cost-cutting programme, a more buoyant radio advertising market and an EBITA margin target of 12% to 14%, which is not aggressive against the rest of the sector (Emap is on 20%).

This is important because GCap is a pure-play radio company and has 35% market share. The ad sales trends are interesting because although GCap's April to June revenues were up 2%, ad sales in June alone were up 6% and July was up a somewhat staggering 14%.

Good news then, but let's get a little perspective - last year's World Cup was bad news for advertising because the BBC gives away so much coverage for free. Also, a perceived overspend on online ads compared with radio may be short-lived and could swing back.

But the future looks bright enough for analysts to change their GCap forecasts and acknowledge the positive indications on radio advertising, which could be the nectar to attract the PE bees buzzing around the sector.

Kate Bulkley has been a print and TV journalist for 16 years, including a seven-year spell at CNBC. She regularly moderates industry events and is a former chairman of the Broadcasting Press Guild