Dailey Nabs Saatchi Media Chief

Emily Weiss, the top media director at Saat chi & Saatchi’s Torrance, Calif., office, joins Dailey & Associates this week as evp, media director.

Weiss, 42, will succeed Marc Feidelson, 63, who plans to retire from Dailey at year’s end. At Saatchi, Weiss led the 40-person media department, working primarily on the $380 million Toyota Motor Sales account.

A native of Westfield, N.J., Weiss came out west from Saatchi’s New York office in 1988. She said she is leaving after 20 years at the Publicis Groupe agency and its predecessor shops because she wants to work on a more diverse roster of clients.

“I usually don’t take those phone calls,” said Weiss, referring to the recruiting overtures from Brian Morris, president of Dailey in West Hollywood, Calif. “It was very difficult to leave Saatchi, but this gives me a chance to expand and work on more than automotive.”

“This is the coup of all coups,” Morris said of Weiss’ arrival at the Interpublic Group shop, whose clients include Safeway, Nestlé and Phillips 76. “We have a very high regard for Emily. She has a great reputation.”

As for Feidelson, Morris credited him with building Dailey’s media department to its current stature: 55 people handling an estimated $500 million in billings.

“When he started in 1979, we had a small media department,” said Morris. “He put us on the map. We are going to miss him, but he will be working with us as a consultant, so we will have his skills indefinitely.”

Feidelson, a native of New York who moved to Los Angeles 30 years ago, said his two-decade-plus tenure at Dailey is a testament to the agency’s culture. “Peter Dailey offered me this job 23 years ago. I took it because I like challenges,” he said, referring to the shop’s founder. “This is an agency where media is not an afterthought. There is also a real family atmosphere here. Why else would I have stayed for 23 years, unless I was a masochist?”

Feidelson plans to move to Vermont early next year. In his consulting role, he will primarily handle network negotiations.

Saatchi CEO in Torrance, Scott Gilbert, said the shop is seeking a replacement for Weiss, who filled the top media post there in May 2001 following the retirement of 30-year Saatchi veteran Richard Weigand.

Gilbert had high praise for Weiss, calling her “one of the most cheerful and innovative folks I have ever worked with.” He said she will be missed, but added, “Sometimes it’s time for something new. I totally support what she is doing.”