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Ron Fredrick has had a hectic year.

The senior partner-national broadcast group director of J. Walter Thompson USA spent nearly a year changing the way JWT operates its broadcast buying. The result: JWT's new subsidiary, Ford Motor Media, a dedicated $1.1 billion media-buying unit to handle Ford Motor Co., Jaguar of North America and Mazda Motors of America.


Mr. Fredrick says there were complications in forming Ford's new media-buying agency with his boss, Jean Pool, JWT exec VP-North America media buying services. WPP Group's JWT and Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide were busy, at the same time, working to develop JWT/O&M Alliance, handling more than $1 billion in buying clout. Ford is an Alliance member, but negotiations are separate from other clients.

Mr. Fredrick had to calm marketer concerns about unified buying plans while trying to unite JWT's three national broadcast buying offices.

For 12 years, he headed JWT Detroit's national broadcast arm for Ford and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Although he no longer has direct responsibility on Ford, there's a link to Ford Motor Media, where his protege, Cindy Stacy, is senior partner-national broadcast director.

"I'm too busy to miss Ford," he says, now that he's heading up JWT's $1 billion national broadcast business. He oversees it by splitting his time between New York and Detroit.

ego control

"My secret weapon is ego control," says Mr. Fredrick, who describes himself as a Unitarian universalist. "I bend over backwards to give credit to the people who achieve success. Negotiating is more of a team effort. I believe in team negotiations."

Don't discount his clout and involvement with the network movers and shakers. He admits he deals mostly with network presidents, usually on "negotiations that are off the beaten path and more exotic."

Majoring in philosophy at Princeton University helped prepare him for the media business, he quips. His experience spans the client, agency and network arenas, although he claims his current job is "the most fun."

After getting his master's degree in economics at Columbia University, he joined CBS as a financial analyst. He's also had stints in the ad department at Ford headquarters and ABC before joining JWT 12 years ago.

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