Wednesday, July 31, 2002

    THOMAS MIDDELHOFF, CEO of Bertelsmann AG, is leaving the company due to differences of opinion with shareholders over the future direction of the privately held media giant. Sources close to the situation said Middelhoff is set to become chief executive of Deutsche Telekom AG news agency.

    Earlier this month, RON SOMMER (pictured) stepped down as Deutsche Telekom's CEO under pressure from the German government, which holds a 43% stake in the country's dominant phone company. The Bonn-based Deutsche Telekom also named 72-year-old supervisory board member Helmut Sihler as temporary replacement until a permanent successor is found. Bertelsmann management board member GUNTER THIELEN, who currently heads the company's media services unit Arvato, was named as Middelhoff's replacement. Chief Financial Officer SIEGFRIED LUTHER becomes deputy CEO.

    BETTE BLUM recently joined Tinsley Advertising in Miami as Media Supervisor. Previously she was at ANC Rental Corporation (Alamo Renat A Car and National Car Rental) where she was Director of Media Services. During her career at ANC she was awarded MediaWeek's Media All-Star Award for Newspapers.

    CommConnect Managing Partner JENNIFER KRONSTAIN has signed on to represent Technology Research News. CommConnect will provide TRN with program development and account management services.

    Amistad Media Group, one of the largest independent Hispanic media buying services in the U.S., announced the hire of LAURA WILLIS AGUILAR to Media Coordinator. Aguilar recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with degrees in Advertising and Spanish, and joined the company last May as a Media Intern.

    Kurman Communications announced that KAREN BLAIR has joined the company as an account supervisor and the director of production services. Blair has more than 10 years of experience in print, broadcast news and entertainment and public relations. Prior to coming to KCI, Blair worked for Hill & Knowlton in Chicago, Towers Productions, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and the Chicago Tribune.

    Cygnus Business Media, a leading diversified business-to-business media company, announced the promotion of PAUL ANDREWS to Vice President of Interactive. Cygnus currently owns and manages 70 websites providing more than two million business-to-business professionals industry news and information annually. Andrews was most recently Vice President of Sales for the company's highly successful web portal.

    Vivendi Universal SA is weighing deep cutbacks of its corporate staff in both Paris and New York as the conglomerate moves to right itself amid a cash crunch. Vivendi Universal notified its corporate staff last week that Constantin Group, a consultant hired by the company, had recommended the elimination of 100 jobs at Vivendi's headquarters in Paris, where it has about 370 corporate employees, and about 130 jobs at the New York office, where it has a staff of 200. The recommendations come after a review of corporate efficiency that was launched this spring, not by new Vivendi Chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou, but by his predecessor, Jean-Marie Messier. Messier's aggressive plan to transform Vivendi from a French water company into a global media titan ran aground against a mountain of debt. Vivendi hasn't yet decided how closely it will follow the advice of the consultants.

    Dotglu, the digital- and direct-marketing arm of Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, made three senior hires. ALAN BLOSE has joined Dotglu as executive creative director. He replaces Bob Cesiro, who left earlier this year. Also, MARK FITHIAN joins Dotglu as vice president of interactive marketing, a newly created post. Most recently, Fithian was worldwide account director on IBM at Answerthink in New York for three years. Additionally, TOM BERRY has been appointed vice president of direct marketing, also a newly created post. Most recently, Berry was at Grey Direct, where he headed up direct response activities for Chase.

    Kirshenbaum's media unit, The Media Kitchen, has brought on an interactive executive to manage digital media accounts. CHARLES PINKERTON is the new group media director and will oversee the Verizon account, as well as all interactive accounts within the unit. Pinkerton comes from The Martin Agency, where as svp of interactive marketing and media since Jan. 2001 he worked for such clients as Dasani, Olympus and UPS.

    MaxWorldwide, Inc., formerly L90, one of the nation's leading independent company in online ad sales and representation and a leader in traditional direct marketing, today announced the appointment of WILLIAM H. MITCHELL as Chief Financial Officer. Mitchell began his finance career at Price Waterhouse where he became a Certified Public Accountant. He also served as Senior Vice President of Finance at TKR Cable, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Tele-Communications Inc.'s Atlantic Division, and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Bigfoot Interactive.

    KEITH OLBERMANN joins as a weekly columnist, where he will write principally about sports but will also be free to comment on whatever interests him at the moment. Olberman is a contributor to CNN and a daily commentator for the ABC Radio Network.

    Meridian Inc., a full-service advertising agency with expertise in strategic communications for the retail industry, announced that TERRY THOMAS has joined the agency as executive account director. Thomas’ career has spanned account management positions with several of the nation’s top advertising agencies. He comes to Meridian from Leo Burnett, where he headed the McDonald’s account team.

    The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) announced today that DOUGLAS J. WOOD, Executive Partner of Hall Dickler Kent Goldstein & Wood, an advertising and marketing law firm, has been appointed General Counsel of the Association of National Advertisers. Wood will continue to retain his position at Hall Dickler Kent Goldstein & Wood during his ANA term.

    Veteran editor FRANK LALLI has been appointed to the new position of VP of New Development of Reader's Digest Association. He was formerly top editor of Hachette Filipacchi Media's George magazine.

    IAN SCOTT is joining Teen Vogue as associate publisher. Scott comes over from Gourmet magazine, where he was advertising director.

    New Teen People Eastern advertising director GREG SCHUMANN, will manage the advertising sales effort for the East Coast and Detroit, reporting to associate publisher Jack Rotherham. Schumann joins the New York team from the Midwest sales office in Chicago, where he most recently held the position of Midwest advertising director. MARCY BLOOM will relocate to Teen People’s Chicago office to become Midwest advertising director. Bloom, who was promoted to integrated sales director in January, joined Teen People in June 1998.

    ELIZABETH PAGANO has been named associate publisher/marketing of G+J's Fitness. Promoted from marketing director, she will continue to manage marketing and creative services by developing the magazine's positioning and marketing platform. Before serving as Fitness' marketing director, Pagano was creative services director for Condé Nast's Mademoiselle.

    TAMMY E. ROLLE has been promoted to vice president of advertising production at Johnson Publishing Company. Her duties include overseeing the production of Ebony and Jet magazines. She is in her 21st year with the company.

    SUSAN PLAGEMANN, formerly publisher of Hearst Magazines' Cosmopolitan, has been named publisher of Lifetime, the cable network–branded magazine scheduled to launch in March as a co-venture of Hearst and Lifetime Entertainment Services. DONNA KALA-JIAN LAGANI, senior vp/publishing director of the Cosmo Group, will take over Plagemann's responsibilities at Cosmo.

    The Albany Times Union has named REX SMITH editor, to succeed current Houston Chronicle editor JEFF COHEN. As part of a restructuring of the editorial department, MARY FRAN GLEASON has been named to the new position of managing editor, reporting to Smith. Smith had been managing editor/news. Gleason had been managing editor/features and sports. Under the new structure, those positions will be combined.

    Meredith Corp. named MARY WITHERELL managing editor of Ladies' Home Journal. Last week DIANE SALVATORE was named editor-in-chief of the magazine. Witherell, current acting managing editor at Hearst Corp.'s CosmoGIRL magazine, is expected to start at LHJ Aug. 5.

    MICHAEL J. PETRUNCOLA has been named West Coast manager of sales and marketing for Meredith's Traditional Home. Petruncola joins Traditional Home from Rolling Stone, where he served as Los Angeles advertising director.

    EDWARD SWINDLER has been promoted at NBC to senior vice president for network sales strategy, planning and pricing, charged with overseeing revenue analysis, program acquisition and scheduling for NBC and MSNBC. He reports to Randy Falco, president of NBC TV Network and Mark Vachon, who is the chief financial officer of NBC.

    HARRY SMITH, who now anchors A&E;'s "Biography" series, will co-host “The Early Show” with Jane Clayson the week of July 29. Smith spent eight years as an anchor for CBS' "This Morning" and as a correspondent for the "CBS Evening News."

    STEVEN A. TANN was named senior vp of creative affairs for New Line Television. Tann will head up development of new programming and oversee production on UPN's The Twilight Zone, which comes from New Line in association with Trilogy Entertainment. Tann joined New Line from Columbia Tristar Domestic Television, where he was senior vp of development and current programming.

    JOSEPH W. OSTROW will step down as President & CEO of the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau on March 31, 2003, and become a consultant to the national trade organization. Prior to joining CAB, Ostrow was Executive Vice President–Worldwide Media Director of Foote, Cone & Belding Communications; and, before that, was affiliated with Young & Rubicam for 32 years, rising to Executive Vice President–Director of Communications Services and President of the Y&R; Direct Marketing Group of Companies.

    DALE LANIER is joining Colby & Partners of Santa Monica as executive producer of its entertainment division. Lanier joins Colby from UPN, where he was vice president for marketing and special projects.