Optimedia Makes Senior Moves

NEW YORK The new year ushered in some management changes at Publicis Groupe’s Optimedia. Larry Novenstern has been hired as evp, director of national electronic media, replacing Bob Flood, who left three months ago for MTV Networks.

Bob Lilley, who had been Optimedia’s new business development executive, has left the agency. A company representative said Lilley’s job was eliminated at year’s end in an effort to create efficiencies and streamline processes. “The new business responsibility has been consolidated as a ZenithOptimedia U.S. role,” the rep said, noting that in December Lisa Spielman was named svp of new business development for U.S. operations at ZenithOptimedia.

At Optimedia, Novenstern will oversee buying for traditional TV platforms such as broadcast, cable and syndication, as well as branded entertainment and emerging platforms such as video-on-demand and broadband video.

“Larry is just the person we were looking for,” said Mike Drexler, CEO of Optimedia International U.S., in a statement.

“We expect him to take our clients to the next level of video application and new media platforms and to also extend our relationships with the entertainment and sports communities,” added Drexler, to whom Novenstern will report.

Previously, Novenstern was svp, director of national broadcast at Interpublic Group’s Deutsch, where he oversaw the agency’s TV spending and other activities, including branded entertainment.

At Deutsch, Novenstern is being replaced by Bari Merkow, who is being elevated from vp, group director to svp, director of national buying. She is a five-year Deutsch veteran.