MPG Exec Heads to Starcom

NEW YORK Bill McOwen is joining Publicis Groupe’s Starcom as svp, director of national broadcast at the agency’s Los Angeles office, the shop has confirmed. He has been director of media investments at Havas’ MPG.

The move is effective Oct. 22, and McOwen, a native of Southern California, will relocate from New York to take on the new assignment.

McOwen, in his current MPG role for eight months, has been responsible for buying across media including broadcast, digital, print and out-of-home. Previously, he had been evp, director of broadcast at the agency. Before that, McOwen was at sibling agency Arnold, which he joined in 1996, and where he is credited with having started the shop’s national broadcast buying operation.

In his new role, McOwen will oversee buying for Starcom’s Los Angeles office, for clients that include media conglomerate Walt Disney, among others. He will report to Kathy Ring, L.A. president and chief operating officer.

Commenting on the new hire in a statement, Ring said, “The changing landscape of national broadcast creates a challenge for marketers. It is a lot of hard work to stay on top when there are so many new platforms to work across. Bill’s extensive background in national broadcast and his drive to understand emerging markets will help us to continue to be industry leaders.”

“This is a great opportunity for me personally,” said McOwen. “Professionally it’s a terrific move and my family is [on the West Coast], so it really is the best of both worlds.”

Asked for comment, MPG issued a statement saying, “We wish Bill much happiness and success as he returns to his West Coast roots.”

There is no word yet on who will replace McOwen at MPG, an agency rep said.