Optimedia Taps Deutsch's Novenstern As Electronic Media Chief

After a three-month search, Publicis' Optimedia unit has filled the top post for its convergent media-buying unit with a well-regarded executive known primarily for his TV buying experience. Larry Novenstern has been named executive vice president-director of national electronic media for Optimedia US, filling a post vacated by Bob Flood, who left to become senior vice president-integrated media platforms at MTV Networks' Music and Comedy Ad Sales Group.

Novenstern, who was senior vice president-director of national broadcast buying at Interpublic's Deutsch Inc., is an interesting choice for the Optimedia job, one of the few units set up to simultaneously manage traditional national TV advertising buys, as well as emerging TV platforms such as video-on-demand, digital video recorders, satellite TV and broadband video.

In addition to overseeing all of the network, cable and syndicated TV buys for Optimedia clients such as T-Mobile, Nestle, ServiceMaster, British Airways, and L'Oreal, Novenstern is responsible for the strategic development of new electronic media platforms, as well as product integration initiatives.



For the past four years, Novenstern has overseen Deutsch's annual TV buying budget of more than $500 million, and has also been involved in some non-traditional initiatives, including a much talked about branded entertainment deal that placed Deutsch client Mitsubishi into NBC's "The Restaurant."

Prior to Deutsch, Novenstern was executive vice president-sales and marketing at Sportsvision, and senior vice president-director of sports marketing services at BBDO.

Bari Merkow, vice president-group director of national broadcast at Deutsch, was named senior vice president-director of national buying.

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