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WESTERN'S CROASDALE ON N.Y. TIME WITH NEW JOB AT WESTERN INT'L, WIDER SCOPE IS NAME OF GAME

By Published on .

He's the chairman. Ol' blue eyes. Mention his name and it's instantly recognizable-in media circles at least.

Bill Croasdale, the 36-year media veteran, is getting his due. Western International Media recently named him chairman of media operations, a title almost unheard of in the media business.

It's common for Mr. Croasdale to be at his phone working, at 5:30 in the morning. That's indicative of why he's still on top of his game-Mr. Croasdale lives and breathes media, 'round the clock.

He arrives at Western's Los Angeles offices between 5 a.m. and 5:30 a.m., and doesn't head home until 13 hours later.

"I've been doing it ever since I got here five years ago," said Mr. Croasdale, previously president-network broadcast division.

A N.Y. GUY IN L.A.

It keeps him on top of the East Coast scene and is also proof that, in Mr. Croasdale's case at least, you can't get New York out of a New Yorker's blood.

He was born and raised in Manhattan, and attended New York University. In fact, before his move to Western in 1991, Mr. Croasdale had spent almost all his career at various agencies in the city, including Bates USA and BBDO Worldwide.

Some pundits thought the easygoing Manhattanite wouldn't last long working for the sometimes mercurial Dennis Holt, Western's chairman-CEO, and in a city as different from New York as L.A. But Mr. Croasdale said he's enjoyed both the man and the city.

"Western's a giant," Mr. Croasdale said. "In five or six years, I think there will be six or seven giants planning and buying media, and Interpublic [Western's parent company] will surely be one."

His immediate charge in the newly created post is to get various Western clients to use the myriad services the company offers.

`OPEN THE DOOR'

"Take our out-of-home division," Mr. Croasdale said. "Perhaps we're working with a client or an agency there. Let's use that to open the door to introduce them to some of our other divisions they can use, like our spot TV unit."

Western's spot unit is huge, with claimed billings of about $1 billion. After 17 years, Elaine Kaplan, who headed the unit, has recently left. Her replacement is Dawn Sibley, with the title of president-local broadcast division.

Ms. Sibley, another East Coast veteran, will move to Los Angeles in November (AA, Sept. 3o).

"It's the challenge of my career," Ms. Sibley said of overseeing Western's 250 spot employees in 38 offices. But Ms. Sibley is used to challenges. She joins Western from the presidency of its Media Partnership subsidiary in Westport, Conn., which has been battling the networks to purchase half-hours for presidential candidate Ross Perot.

While Ms. Sibley is somewhat apprehensive about uprooting her life and moving to L.A., she's sure of one thing.

"I'll love working with Bill,"M

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