Route MD James Whitmore to step down after 15 years
James Whitmore, the long-serving boss of out-of-home audience research body Route, is to step down due to health reasons.
A well-known and well-liked industry name, Whitmore has been managing director of Route for more than 15 years.
The search for a replacement will now be led by Katherine Almond, chair of Route, and the respective chairs of the associations that represent the buy and sell side of the OOH sector; Chris Daines for the IPAO and Justin Cochrane for Outsmart.
Whitmore, who has written opinion columns for Mediatel News for years, joined Route - formerly Postar - as its first MD in November 2005.
During his tenure he helped reshape the joint industry currency and was instrumental in making Route a world class measurement body. The remainder of his work in modernising Route's output will be unveiled later this year.
“For health reasons, I have made the decision to stop work," Whitmore said. "It will be sad to leave, but it’s an exciting time for the business and I am confident that Route will continue to grow under strong leadership.”
Commenting on the news, Cochrane said Whitmore had "massively advanced" the measurement of OOH media in the UK and even globally, providing members with both a granular understanding of how OOH is consumed and in bolstering the growth in the OOH market with its data.
Meanwhile, Almond said: “With the imminent release of the renewed currency, it is clear that Route will continue to deliver world leading OOH research and analytics, setting benchmarks that allow the medium to flourish and grow.
"We will begin the process of finding a successor to James immediately. We want to build on his great work in creating not only Route, but also this latest iteration.”
Route is underwritten by the industry, including specialist media agencies, Kinetic Worldwide, Mediacom Outdoor, Posterscope, Rapport Worldwide and Talon Outdoor.
The media owner guarantors are Clear Channel Outdoor, JCDecaux and Global.