MPG Exec Heads to NBC

NEW YORK David Barrington, evp, managing director of video investments at Havas’ MPG, has left the agency and is expected to assume a new sales position at NBC.

MPG confirmed the departure, but NBC would not confirm his arrival at the network, although sources said an announcement is expected shortly.

Barrington joined MPG in January, effectively replacing Bill McOwen, who left in the fall of last year for a new post at Publicis Groupe’s Starcom in Los Angeles.

As the top TV buyer at MPG, the timing of Barrington’s departure is somewhat awkward for the media shop, coming as it does on the eve of the TV upfront sales market. Sources said that MPG North America CEO Charlie Rutman would step in for Barrington during this year’s upfront negotiations, working with the shop’s other senior buying executives, including Jason Kanefsky, svp, director of national broadcast, and Carrie Drinkwater, svp, group account director, among others.

Barrington’s new role at NBC was not clearly defined, but he is expected to fill a post in which he will be working closely with both Mike Pilot, president, sales, NBC Universal Television, and Marianne Gambelli, president of ad sales, NBCU. Network executives couldn’t be reached for comment.

At MPG, Barrington was responsible for video buys across all traditional and nontraditional media platforms, the integration of video marketing communications programs and the development of branded video content for MPG clients.

Prior to MPG, Barrington was svp and general sales manager at MyNetworkTV, the broadcast network started by News Corp. two years ago. Previously, he was head of ad sales for TV program syndication unit Twentieth Television.

He started his career on the media planning and buying side, including a four-year stint at Grey’s media department, where he was co-manager of national broadcast buying.