Tocco Leaves MindShare for Mediaworks

Interpublic Group’s GM Mediaworks has lured a vet eran me dia buyer from WPP Group’s MindShare, sources said. Cathy Tocco, MindShare director of local broadcast and longtime buyer for agency client Ford, among others, starts today in the new post of evp and managing director of local broadcast.

Tocco was part of the team that worked to combine the media operations of J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather to form MindShare in 1999.

She joined JWT in 1978 as an associate broadcast negotiator, rising to senior partner in 1989. For the past eight years, she has been managing local broadcast oper ations at MindShare, which includes the media assets of JWT and Ogilvy.

Mediaworks is forming a new management group to oversee GM’s $800 million-plus local broadcast account, in response to the car maker’s dramatically increased efforts in the medium. These initiatives have tripled in the past year as buying for dealer groups across the country has been added. Local broadcast buying, however, continues to be handled by Mediaworks sister Local Communications Inc., a unit of Universal McCann.

Neither Tocco nor Mediaworks president Rick Sirvaitis were available for comment.

At MindShare, Richard Cotter, manager of the agency’s New York office, will replace Tocco as director of local broadcast, but he will not relocate, a source said.

Mediaworks, New York, han dles network TV, cable TV, syndication and network radio for the automotive marketer, and its Warren, Mich., office is charged with magazine, national/local newspaper, outdoor and interactive. LCI buys spot TV and radio, including His panic media, and local cable.