Tierney Starts Anew at T2 Group in Philly

NEW YORK Brian Tierney yesterday exited the Philadelphia shop he founded in 1989, Tierney Communications, 18 months after stepping down from the running of its day-to-day operations.

Tierney sold The Tierney Group to True North Communications in 1998, when he entered into a four-year contract that expired in April 2002. Since that time, Tierney had worked as a consultant to the agency while participating in other ventures, including a stint as campaign manager for Republican mayoral candidate Stan Katz.

Tierney, who was offered a place within parent company Interpublic Group, is poised to open the doors of a new agency, tentatively named The T2 Group.

“I’d like to do the work,” Tierney said, following his announcement to the Tierney Communications staff this afternoon. “I’d like to start fresh.”

The new shop will focus on public relations while offering some marketing solutions. Tierney has hired two staffers, and hopes to recruit five more by the time the agency opens on Jan. 1. Tierney plans to work with his namesake agency and has already won some project work for Advanta, a credit card company Tierney Communications won this fall.

“We’ll work together on some projects and we’ll compete on others,” Tierney said.

Tierney Communications CEO J. Scott Franks and president Mary Stengel Austen have run the agency since 2002. Though Austen is one of the shop’s original partners, Tierney’s departure marks a further changing of the guard. Creative director Kelley Simmons replaced Anthony DeGregorio, who left in June. Senior vice president Sig Gross left the shop this summer for a senior creative post at Arnold in New York, and former executive vice president and general manager of public relations Jay Devine left the agency to start his own shop, Devine & Powers, the same month. Devine was replaced by Steve Albertini.