PSK Lures A Former Arnold Exec To Helm Unit Owned By Media First

As part of what Woody Kay called his agency’s “new attitude,” Pagano Schenck & Kay has struck a deal that brings James Poh to the Boston shop as director of media services.
Poh, an employee of Media First International, will work out of PSK’s offices and be joined by two of the shop’s current media planners, who also become staffers of Media First. PSK will use Media First’s buying and planning capabilities for all its accounts. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
While PSK has an exclusive deal with Media First, the media specialist will be able to seek out new media planning and buying accounts in the Boston area, said Media First president Richard Kostyra.
“We’re providing [PSK] with a media operation on location,” Kostyra said. “[Poh] is innovative and a self-starter. He leads rather than follows, and that’s important in setting up a new operation.”
Poh had been vice president and group planning director for Arnold Communications in Boston, where most recently he worked on the Bell Atlantic and Ocean Spray Cranberries accounts. How he will be replaced is under evaluation, said Arnold executive vice president and media director John Gaffney. Prior to Arnold, Poh served as associate media director at Jordan, McGrath, Case & Taylor in New York.
Kostyra would not disclose the financial arrangement Media First has with PSK, saying only that the deal would not cut into profits that PSK would have made on media buying. Kostyra also said he expects to add more people to the Boston operation in the near future.
Having Media First staff onsite will allow for more face-to-face contact with clients, said Kay, president and creative director at PSK. The agency has used Media First’s buying services for all its broadcast accounts for the past three years, Kay added. An independent media outfit with 40 employees, Media First claimed billings last year of $230,000 million.
Poh’s arrival marks PSK’s third media director in little more than a year. Former media director Eric Snyder left the agency in March 1997 to launch Circle Interactive, an interactive marketing firm. He was replaced by Deborah Zucher, a former media executive at Ammirati Puris Lintas in New York who left PSK late last year and is believed to be freelancing.