IQ News: Avenue A Appoints Former ABC Exec to CEO




Until last month, McAndrews served as executive vice president and general manager at ABC, managing the sports division of ABC Television. In that role, he oversaw programming, production and marketing.
“We’re unbelievably excited about Brian coming on board,” said Leo. “We really needed somebody to take us to the next level and get all those pistons firing at the same time. Brian has managed 800 people and $700 million in revenues, so he’s the guy to bring us to the next point.”
“I’m very fortunate that I’m going into a company that’s not broken,” said McAndrews. “I enjoyed my nine years working in traditional media and Disney/ABC is a terrific company. But it’s not growing at the rate of 20 percent a month like Avenue A.”
Leo described Avenue A, as “a data-marketing company, which means we do the strategy, the planning and the buying of the media.” The difference between Avenue A and traditional interactive ad agencies, according to Leo, is that Avenue A also executes all third-party ad serving, data collection, measurement and data analysis for its clients.
“I think staying ahead of the technology curve is going to be the real challenge,” said McAndrews. “But we’ll keep our leadership position by working hand in hand with our clients.”
Leo added, “We absolutely feel that as more mediums become accountable, our job is to be a data-centric company, not an Internet-centric company. So our job, as new mediums become accountable, is to develop technology that applies the same process to those other mediums that we apply to the Internet today.”
Separately, Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC, last week named former ESPN chief and ABC president Steven Bornstein as chairman of Buena Vista Internet Group. Bornstein replaced BVIG chairman Jake Winebaum, who left the position in June to start an Internet venture capital company, eCompanies.