Publicis Groupe and WPP Group are the big winners in the U.S. media review triggered by Comcast's acquisition of NBC Universal.
In play was more than $1 billion in annual media spending. Publicis Groupe's team, which included MediaVest and Starcom, walked away with the merged company's cable and theme park business, while WPP's Group's Maxus, landed the rest of what was formerly NBC's business, including Universal Studios. WPP's Mediacom continues to work for the media giant overseas.
A third contender made up of Omnicom Media Group and Horizon came up empty. Medialink CEO Michael Kassan helped manage the process.
The review came in the wake of Comcast's $13.8 billion acquisition of General Electric's NBC Universal. Comcast now owns 51 percent of the combined company, known as NBCUniversal. GE owns the rest.
Beyond NBC and Comcast, the media company's stable of brands include Universal Studios, Telemundo, Bravo, MSNBC, NBC News, CNBC, USA and Syfy.
Media spending across all brands totaled $1.05 billion last year--roughly the same as in 2009, according to Nielsen. Those figures don't include online spending.