Meredith’s Kerr Joins IPG Board

NEW YORK Interpublic Group today added Meredith Corp. chairman William Kerr as the ninth member of its board of directors.

Kerr, 65, is a former CEO of Meredith, a Des Moines, Iowa-based media company that publishes magazines and books and owns radio and television stations. Before joining Meredith in 1991, Kerr was a vice president at The New York Times Co. and president of its magazine group.

“Media is a key company of the marketing programs we develop for our clients,” said IPG CEO Michael Roth in a statement. “Bill’s deep understanding of the dynamic media landscape will bring important perspective to our board as we chart the future direction for Interpublic.”

Kerr also serves on the boards of Meredith, Principal Financial Group, Whirlpool Corp., Oxford University Press and Harvard Business School Publishing.

In addition, he is past chairman of both the International Federation of the Periodical Press and the Magazine Publishers of America. In 2004, the MPA recognized Kerr’s achievements in the industry by presenting him the organization’s Henry Johnson Fisher Award.

IPG’s board now consists of eight outside directors and one insider: Roth. In the past few years, IPG has shifted from a mostly insider to mostly outsider board. Last fall, for example, former IPG CEO David Bell and John Dooner, CEO of McCann WorldGroup, did not stand for reelection, making Roth the sole insider [Adweek Online, Oct. 21].