MediaPort Shuts Down

NEW YORK — MediaPort, the independent company formed by the three largest media agency holding companies to develop a business standard for buying media electronically, has lost the backing of its patrons and shut down, as its owners explore the purchase of Donovan Data Systems. The New York-based company was formed in April 2001 by WPP Group, Omnicom and the Interpublic Group of Cos. but became an untenable investment due to the poor ad economy, a source said.

“The bottom line is that it’s a lot less risky in a bad economy to try to buy an established business like Donovan rather than start one from scratch,” said a source. “When the idea for MediaPort began two years ago, it was a different economy.”

The company’s staff and CEO, Mike Lotito were laid off, sources said. Lotito, previously president/coo of IPG’s Initiative Media North America, declined comment.