Sternberg Is Out at Magna

NEW YORK Steve Sternberg, a 27-year Interpublic veteran and one of the more widely respected and oft-quoted TV research executives on Madison Avenue, is out, effective July 15, the company has confirmed.

Most recently, Sternberg was evp, audience analysis at IPG’s research and marketplace intelligence unit Magna, which has been undergoing a transformation over the past year.

Last September, IPG hired Elizabeth Herbst-Brady to run the unit as president with a mandate to reshape its focus.

At the time of her hire, Mediabrands CEO Nick Brien said Herbst-Brady “recognizes the emerging patterns of the future of the media business and will be able to harness it for our clients. She [will] lead them in the next stage of the company’s evolution as a marketing intelligence and emerging technologies specialist.”

The departure of Sternberg is apparently a part of Magna’s ongoing evolution. In a statement, Herbst-Brady said: “After conversations with Steve about Magna’s new direction, we both agreed that his professional interests and Magna’s business needs did not align. Therefore, Steve is leaving Magna effective immediately to pursue other opportunities.”

Herbst-Brady added: “The new Magna structure will now fold audience analysis into our broad-based data analytics, tools and macro-economic trending activities.”

Sternberg’s two direct reports, Lisa Quan, vp, director of audience analysis, and Brian Hughes, vp, manager of audience analysis, will now report to Herbst-Brady.

The Sternberg announcement was the second piece of news emerging from Magna late last week. The shop also said it would completely overhaul the annual spending forecasts it typically makes twice a year, focusing more on media company advertising revenue and not gross advertiser expenditures. Brian Wieser, who replaced Robert Coen as the company’s chief forecaster in March, will present the first of the newly formatted forecasts today.