Columbus Media Adds Walker, Names Chairman

NEW YORK Columbus Media International has added U.K.-based Walker Media to its network. At the same time, Bill Koenigsberg, CEO and founder of Horizon Media, has been named chairman of Columbus Media, replacing Nick Lockett.

Columbus Media is a global media services network comprised of large independents handling integrated marketing across multiple platforms in 35 territories, including the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Japan, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

Walker Media’s international clients include Barclays Wealth, Mandarin Oriental and the European Commission. Billings total more than $600 million.

“The new addition of Walker Media as our U.K. partner solidifies our leadership capabilities as a global independent media group,” said Koenigsberg.

Koenigsberg was appointed chairman, a decision taken by Columbus Media’s other board members (Horizon Media is a founding member of the global network). He noted that Lockett had to step down from his chairmanship because his agency, BLM in the U.K., was purchased by Havas Media, rendering it a competitor of Columbus Media. While BLM had to exit as a shareholder, Koenigsberg noted Walker Media is twice the size of BLM.

Formed in June 2006, Columbus Media has hit the $5 billion mark globally and employs approximately 2,000, according to Koenigsberg.

“The reason I chose to get involved in Columbus in the first place is because Horizon has had more of a global need [to conduct business]. Therefore, I needed a global network, as opposed to turning to one of my competitors. . . . What Columbus offers is an alternative of like-minded independents, like Horizon, where we can select best-in-class partners in different parts of the world,” said Koenigsberg. “Advertisers want more alternatives and as the world is becoming smaller and consolidation is taking place, it’s nice to give marketers alternatives to choose from. Columbus provides that alternative.”