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CKS Group, Cupertino, Calif., and USWeb, Santa Clara, Calif., said they are merging to create a new-media systems integration and marketing company to be named Reinvent Communications. Executives for the two companies said Reinvent will have combined annualized revenue of $87 million, making it one of the U.S.' largest interactive agencies. CKS Chairman-CEO Mark Kvamme will be chairman of Reinvent. Joe Firmage, chairman-CEO of USWeb, will be CEO of the new company. The announcement surprised the industry, as well as both companies' employees. CKS' traditional ad agency subsidiary, McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C., will become a unit of Reinvent. News of the merger came a day after Fergus O'Daly resigned as president of the CKS Group Eastern Region. After more than a year at CKS, Mr. O'Daly left to start his own Internet consulting company, Fergus O'Daly Associates, New York.

Primedia restructures; Warner exits company

Primedia unveiled a major restructuring that led to the departure, after just six months, of magazine group President James A. Warner. Primedia is splitting its consumer publications business into Primedia Consumer Magazines and Primedia Special Interest Group. M. David Tanzer, 38, president-CEO of Primedia's Channel One in-school TV network, will be president-CEO of Primedia Consumer Magazines and oversee 23 titles. Succeeding Mr. Tanzer at Channel One is Kevin M. McAiley, 39, who will remain president-CEO of Primedia's Films for the Humanities & Sciences unit. Primedia Special Interest Group includes Primedia Special Interest Publications and Primedia Enthusiast Publications. Primedia Chairman-CEO William F. Reilly will be acting president of the unit. Named exec VP for the unit was Steven R. Elzy, who remains president-CEO of Primedia Special Interest Publications. Primedia also transferred its technical and trade publishing unit, Primedia Intertec, into its business-to-business publishing unit, Primedia Information Group, and named corporate VP-Controller Curtis A. Thompson, 47, group president-CEO of the unit.

Seymour leaves `YM' to be `Redbook' editor

Lesley Jane Seymour is moving to Redbook as editor in chief. Ms. Seymour comes to Hearst Magazines from Gruner & Jahr USA Publishing, where she held the same title at YM. At Redbook, she succeeds Kate White, recently named editor in chief of Hearst's Cosmopolitan.

Wieden plans Tokyo office; Nike reassures agency

Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., is opening a Tokyo office to handle Nike, ending an alliance with McCann-Erickson Worldwide in Japan, as expected (AA, June 11). John Jay, partner, 49, will head the office as creative director, pairing with David Miller, managing director. Larry Frey, 45, previously Wieden's top creative in Tokyo, moves to commercial direction. Separately at Nike, VP-Director of Global Advertising Geoffrey Frost said he's confident in Wieden, despite the firing of two employees in Amsterdam who were believed to be working on a pitch for rival Adidas.

Sprint taps Vigilante unit of Leo Burnett

Sprint Corp. picked Leo Burnett Co. unit Vigilante, New York, to handle a new ad assignment targeted at African-Americans. The review included EnterMedia, as well as Thompson Connect, New York, a unit of J. Walter Thompson USA, San Francisco, which handles Sprint's consumer account.

Chancellor to gobble up Whiteco Outdoor

Chancellor Media Corp. said it will acquire Whiteco Outdoor Advertising for $930 million. With the Whiteco purchase, Chancellor will own 35,000 outdoor faces in 37 states, making Chancellor Outdoor the fifth-largest outdoor group. The deal follows the recent announcement that Chancellor and Capstar Broadcasting Corp. will merge, creating the nation's largest radio station group. Whiteco operates in 50 markets where Chancellor and Capstar have radio stations and in all eight of Chancellor's TV markets.

Spalding to appeal NAD finding about ads

Spalding Sports Worldwide is contesting a finding by the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus that it lacked substantiation for certain performance claims in advertising for the Top-Flite ball/Club System T line. The decision will be appealed to the National Advertising Review Board.

Apple, TBWA Chiat/Day snare Emmy for TV spot

Apple Computer and TBWA Chiat/Day, Venice, Calif., won the Emmy award for outstanding commercial, for "Think Different" The other nominees in the contest for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Emmy were: Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, and Hallmark Cards for "Working Mother"; Ogilvy & Mather, New York, and American Express Co. for "Virtual Reality"; Y&R Advertising, New York, and Pella Windows for "The Elopement"; and Y&R and AT&T Corp. for "The Freshman."

Burger King splits field organization

Burger King Corp. split its field organization into two groups -- one focused on company restaurants and the other on franchise operations and development. Burger King Senior VP-Chief Legal Counsel Mark Giresi was named senior VP-U.S. franchise operations and development. Senior VP-Burger King North Roy Blauer was named senior VP-U.S. company restaurants. Burger King also said it consolidated franchise regions to four from five and each of the four regions will have an estimated 1,840 restaurants.

Home theater products touted in Pioneer ads

Pioneer Electronics on Sept. 1 started a multimillion-dollar print campaign, retail program and sweepstakes themed "Pioneer performance now playing." The effort promotes digital video disc and other home theater products. BBDO West, Los Angeles, created the ads; Think New Ideas, West Hollywood, Calif., handled point of purchase.

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