September 5, 2008
MAGNA Names President
Veteran marketing and media executive Elizabeth Herbst-Brady has been named president of MAGNA, the foremost industry source on the ad-supported media economy, Nick Brien, president and CEO of Mediabrands, the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) media management unit, announced today.
"Elizabeth is a proven visionary who recognizes the emerging patterns of the future of the media business and will be able to harness it for our clients," says Brien. "She is one of the few people who will be able to walk into a company like MAGNA and immediately have the respect of the incredible team of talent that already exists there, and lead them in the next stage of the company's evolution as a marketing intelligence and emerging technologies specialist."
Ms. Herbst-Brady, 47, will lead the MAGNA organization - dubbed "Magna 2.0" by those inside the holding company - as it progresses from a broadcast negotiations unit into an intelligence-gathering, analysis and negotiations firm that encompasses the full spectrum of media delivery platforms, including digital, print, radio and television. The recent transfer of Universal McCann's legendary prognosticator of media spending, Robert Coen, into the role of SVP, Director of Forecasting for MAGNA, marks the most visible example of this shift to date.
With a diverse background on both the client and agency side, Ms. Herbst-Brady is uniquely suited for her new role. She spent the last two years running advertising sales for 20th Television, a division of 20th Century Fox, where she was GSM SVP of Syndication Ad Sales, supervising a staff of 19. She was responsible for creating the overall strategy and execution that ensured the company reached its annual revenue goal. Most notably, she oversaw the development of the branded integration process for 20th Television's first run shows, and set the upfront strategy for the company's most successful upfront in half a decade.
A former Advertising Age "Woman to Watch," Ms. Herbst-Brady's agency side experience is equally formidable. She was SVP, Director of National Broadcast for Starcom Worldwide, overseeing the then-Adweek Media Agency of the Year's Broadcast Investment Group, responsible for $2 billion in spending for almost two dozen blue chip clients. She also led Starcom's efforts to expand beyond traditional platforms and secure new media opportunities in VOD, Broadband and elsewhere. Her wide and varied resume includes stints at Universal Television, Fox and the Tribune Entertainment Company.
"I see MAGNA as a strategic consultant to IPG agencies in regards to current and future media related issues, serving as an aggregator of marketplace information, an analyzer of future trends, and an important facilitator of IPG's media strategy," says Ms. Herbst-Brady.
"The way we can accomplish this is threefold," she explains. "One: we must build the most nimble and efficient buying support team in the industry. Two: develop high-level omniscient analytic tools to furnish our clients with exclusive insight into the advertising arena. And three: become an essential participant in the media community."
Ms. Herbst-Brady, who will dually report to the presidents of Initiative and Universal McCann, Tim Spengler and Mary Gerzema, respectively, takes over a new position at MAGNA. The company was previously helmed by former chairman-CEO Bill Cella, who was shifted to IPG sibling shop DraftFCB in October 2006 before leaving that company last December.
MAGNA is the foremost industry source on the ad-supported media economy, and home to industry legend Robert J Coen, whose forecasts of advertising expenditures and industry knowledge have been relied upon for half a century. MAGNA is also the leading source of calculations and analyses of emerging media platforms, relied upon by Wall Street and the industry alike. Additionally, MAGNA provides global negotiation services and audience and media industry analysis to IPG's media agencies. In the U.S., MAGNA represents more than 10% of advertisers' total spending in National Television, ensuring its clients access to the widest array of programming at the best-negotiated prices. MAGNA provides Aggregated Media Negotiation Services (on behalf of IPG's media agencies), Econometric Modeling & Price Forecasting, and Media & Audience Research Report Generation for its clients. MAGNA's Audience Analysis Group, led by the well-known researcher, Steve Sternberg, is designed to provide unrivaled analysis of the television marketplace and its audience. MAGNA analyzes programming and audience trends and shifts every day, providing an ongoing knowledge base unparalleled in the business, and its studies are widely quoted throughout the industry. MAGNA's reputation for excellence has made it the first stop for broadcast and cable networks, as well as new entities looking to partner on special buying tactics or research studies. Media industry analysis and forecasting is headed by Brian Wieser. MAGNA continues to pioneer the use of emerging technologies and channels, leveraging proprietary research and optimizing cost management and operational efficiencies by consolidating back office systems. MAGNA is part of the Interpublic Group of companies (www.interpublic.com).