Los Angeles Media Company Adorably Thinks it Can Handle New York

7.8 Fashion Cover.JPGNormally, our sister blog FishbowlLA handles everything within the 944 area code, but when Left Coast companies announce plans to invade New York, the hard and fast blogosphere rules get bent. To wit: 944 Media, owners of 944 and a new custom publishing division, will open a research division in Gotham in the first quarter of 2009.

According to a release, the company will also “add the New York market to the media publisher’s portfolio” in 2009 (and acquire two more publications in 2010). Details on the plan to accomplish these goals are vague to non-existent but an influx of $10 million in credit can’t hurt.

There are a host of personnel changes, including the elevation of Martine Bury to editor-in-chief and a new VP of publishing in the release after the jump.


LOS ANGELES (September 16, 2008) — As 944 Media, LLC continues to establish itself as a leader in lifestyle and entertainment publishing, the company announces new leadership with the additions of Sharyn Bires and Tiffany Cohen, formerly of Los Angeles magazine and Emmis Communications custom publishing arm.

The new corporate appointments occur as 944 Media publicizes the launch of a custom publishing division alongside an expansion of $10 million in credit facilities, secured in order to move the company into the next phase of development. Immediate growth plans also include concentrated integration of the 944 Media portfolio to the online and special events platforms.

As the newly appointed Vice President of Publishing for 944 Media, Bires will capitalize on her background in custom publishing to manage the new division, while overseeing all city publishers and profitability increase. Cohen steps into the role of National Sales Director, tapping into consecutive years of custom publishing development, to manage all national sales staff and spearhead market sales.

“Over the last year, we have focused on corporate re-organization and automation to create economies of scale unlike any other media company providing our competitive advantage,” said 944 Founder Marc Lotenberg. “The entire magazine industry is built around historical methods as opposed to current technology trends, which is the backbone of 944 Media. As we move into the next phase of growth, Sharyn Bires and Tiffany Cohen bind a core infrastructure designed to drive revenue and maximize profitability.”

Bires comes aboard 944 Media from Emmis Communications, where she hailed as the Advertising Director for Los Angeles magazine. Bires was also the founder and publisher of Los Angeles Weddings and Orange Coast Weddings, while assuming the publisher role of Beverly Hills magazine. During her tenure at Emmis Communications, Los Angeles magazine was honored with the “Entity of the Year Award” for three consecutive years in recognition of sales and revenue growth. Prior to, Bires worked in New York at Conde Nast Publications, first at Architectural Digest, and later she served as the Fashion Manager for Brides, Modern Bride, Brides.com and Your Prom where she doubled fashion advertising revenue over a two-year period.

As the former Business Development Director for Los Angeles Magazine Custom Publishing and The Weddings Group, Tiffany Cohen was instrumental in the launch of several magazines — Beverly Hills magazine, Los Angeles Weddings and Orange Coast Weddings. Cohen was named the 2008 “Sales Person of the Year” by Emmis Communications and was the 2006 recipient of the “Los Angeles Magazine Award.” Prior to that, Cohen held positions at Entertainment Weekly and ABC/Touchstone Television, managing contracts and partner negotiations.

Along with the additions of Bires and Cohen, 944 Media further strengthens its corporate background with the announcements of several other key hires and promotions. Jim Kebert has joined the 944 team as Chief Financial Officer after having served in several capacities at Insight Enterprises, Inc., and its subsidiaries, from 1991 until 2006. Most recently, Kebert was the President of Direct Alliance Corporation, providing business process outsourcing of professional telesales to manufacturers, and working with such clients as IBM, Lenovo, Toshiba, Panasonic, Polaroid, Sony and Xerox. At Direct Alliance, Kebert was responsible for managing $85 million in service revenue and $2 billion worth of product sales on an annual basis.

As the Director of Marketing and Events at 944 Media, Ryan Stender brings more than 10 years of experience in spearheading marketing initiatives in corporate America for world-class brands such as Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola, AOL/Time Warner and Burger King Corporation. Throughout his career, Stender has been responsible for overseeing multimillion-dollar integrated marketing campaigns through partnerships with the NFL, NCAA, Warner Brothers, Universal Studios, Sony Pictures, Lucas Films, Pontiac, Red Bull and Vitamin Water.

Don Bartolo has a resume of more than 15 years experience in the music and marketing industries, stepping onboard with 944 Media as the publisher of 944 Orange County. Prior to 944, Bartolo worked for Emmis Communications in Los Angeles at Power 106 FM, where he was credited with driving sales to nearly $65 million — the highest in the country for a single station. Bartolo then served as the West Coast Sales Manager for Westwood One/Metro Networks, fostering relationships with such national radio syndication brands as Howard Stern, The Grammys, CMAs and MTV Networks, before launching his own marketing and custom design firm, db&m Media, Inc.

944 Media has also promoted former 944 Los Angeles Managing Editor Martine Bury to the role of Editor in Chief. A 10-year veteran in print journalism, Bury will oversee all national content and direct the managing editors of each of the publication’s seven markets. Prior to joining 944 Media, Bury played an integral role in the launch of Jane magazine, with past stints at a wide array of prestigious publications, including Travel + Leisure and YM magazine.

These new advancements mark the third stage in corporate development. 944 Media is on pace to add the New York market to the media publisher’s portfolio in 2009, in addition to acquiring two publications in various markets by 2010. Plans to open a research division in New York are slated for the first quarter of 2009.