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(April 27, 2001) -- MediaCom Worldwide, the media buying and planning unit of Grey Global Group, is creating a worldwide holding company for its MediaCom network.

Alec Gerster and Alexander Schmidt-Vogel, currently chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the MediaCom network, will become CEO and COO, respectively, of MediaCom Worldwide Inc., which will combine the media company's various acquisitions, including the Media Business Group, London, into a single entity.

"There are a number of central efforts that need a home," Mr. Gerster said. "A number of acquisitions that we have done over the last few years that need an owner that is clear. This is the next step in the final stage of the MediaCom structure."

The management board of the new unit will be composed of chief executives of MediaCom's global offices: Stephen Allan in London (the former office of MBG), Jurgen Blomenkamp in Dusseldorf, Germany; Ariadne Callas and Jon Mandel in New York; Peter Swain in Toronto; Harvey Goldhersz, CEO of Digital WW in New York, and Brian Akers in Copenhagen. Mr. Akers is also the CEO of Digital Europe.

"We have the Internet company and a couple of other small businesses," Mr. Gerster said, "so when we go out and buy, say, another company in the U.K., we need something to own it rather than just Grey."

The parent company owns 100% of the media agency.

The creation of the new holding company further establishes Mr. Mandel's and Ms. Callas' roles as co-CEOs of the U.S. unit, Mr. Gerster pointed out. -- Richard Linnett

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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