Advertising Meltdown?: Cuts From Sky, Bauer, News Int.

Some of our biggest media names are culling their ad sales staff, in what could be a sign of precipitous economic times ahead…

Sky Media: The broadcaster’s ad sales house has begun a consultation with its 200 staff, leading to the redundancy of at least 20 in the next 90 days, Media Week reports: “Agencies highlighted interactive sales as a particular likely area of focus.”

News International: MW says the publisher will make redundant around 100 of its 450 sales staff, as it unifies commercial and corporate teams across titles, with the new setup operational by September. It’s part of the response to the Boston Consulting Group review News Corp (NYSE: NWS) commissioned to streamline its business.

H Bauer: The magazine publisher is abolishing the positions of its digital sales director and magazine sales director (former Emappers), in what MW says is a cost-cutting measure. MW heard that “digital has gone backwards in the last 12 months”, with the company now focusing on print and giving little investment to digital projects except fashion site ProjectGuru.

ITV: Perhaps on the plus side, the broadcaster has hired ex MySpace exec Richard Parboo as head of its online agency sales strategy – a tricky task to relish, given ITV’s (LSE: ITV) ambitious £150 million online revenue target for 2010. Brand partnerships director Gary Knight told MW Parboo will come in handy to “monetise the new volumes of traffic created by the Friends Reunited free proposition”.