MediaCom Steps Reflect Sign Of Industry Times

Behind MediaCom’s promotion last week of four evps/group directors is an evolution, not just at Grey Global Group’s media network, but at other U.S. media-services companies. The goal: to dissolve the lines separating media’s core competencies, planning and buying, to create “total media-management services,” said Jon Mandel, MediaCom’s chief negotiating officer.

In promoting former svp/director of national broadcast Donna Speciale, along with planning specialists Jim Porcarelli, Larry Swyer and Elyse Hoelzer, the company hopes to realize a stronger relationship between planning and buying.

“What’s great about the evps—me being the buying arm and being so connected to the strategic planners, Larry, Elyse, and Jim—is that the process of buying becomes more intelligent, and what we can offer becomes more comprehensive,” Speciale said. “A buy is never done without strategy anymore.”

MediaCom started on this course about two years ago, Mandel said, based on clients’ and consultants’ feedback. The move was driven by its business makeup, Speciale said, as buying is only 10 percent of its business.

Speciale’s new role, directing na tional and local broadcast, reflects the changes in the industry. Initiative Media earlier this month decided to consolidate its print unit in New York. In April, Optimedia unveiled its village @optimedia concept to help it partner with other communications companies.

But media companies must make greater strides toward overall accountability, said Mitch Burg, president, The Media Edge North America. “We’ve been concentrating on accountability modeling, and essentially that means looking to media people who are marketers and who can tap into those various disciplines of the business,” he said.