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Ad Bureau Seeks High-Profile Number Two Exec

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Ad Bureau Seeks High-Profile Number Two Exec

Article excerpt

Ad Bureau seeks high-profile number two exec

NAB's board wants someone who can spearhead the newspaper industry's sales and marketing pitch to national advertisers

The Newspaper Advertising Bureau, seeking new direction to reverse plummeting membership and help bolster declining ad spending in newspapers, is seeking a high-profile number two executive to spearhead the newspaper industry's sales pitch to national advertisers.

As part of a leadership shakeup designed to revitalize the newspaper industry's troubled sales and marketing arm, the executive being sought would work under Len Forman, who was named Ad Bureau president on Feb. 14. Forman had served as acting president since Craig Standen resigned last summer.

The original plan of the Ad Bureau board of directors when Standen resigned was to bring in a new president who was both a creative outside sales person and a strong administrator.

Forman was seen by the board as being a strong internal administrator. The plan, E&P has learned, called for keeping Forman as executive vice president and bringing someone in as president who had a strong sales and marketing background so they could effectively represent the industry with the advertising community.

A six-month search conducted by the recruitment firm of Heidrick and Struggles and a special newspaper search committee narrowed the field down to three candidates.

The candidate selected was a woman (whose identity E&P could not learn) who originally accepted the position but changed her mind just a day before the appointment was to be announced.

A source familiar with the deliberations said the woman was the only candidate who possessed all the qualifications--with a strong background both in administration and in sales and marketing. Others had strengths in one area or the other. Her hiring was contingent on Forman remaining as executive vice president to help the new president.

When she bailed out, the board opted for an alternate plan: to name Forman president and hire a top sales and marketing executive to represent newspapers to the advertising community.

In selecting Forman for the top job, the board felt he had implemented the Bureau's reorganization program well, had improved service to members, had reduced costs by increasing efficiency and had helped to raise the Bureau's profile among advertisers.

NAB chairman and New York Times Co. president Walter Mattson did not return phone calls to his office. …

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