LINK TAKES REINS AS FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT OF MPA: CTW EXECUTIVE SAYS MOVING MAGAZINES TO FRONT AND CENTER IS FIRST PRIORITY

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The new face of the magazine industry is a woman's. For the first time in the Magazine Publishers of America's 80-year history, a woman will hold the president-CEO title. Nina Link, group president of publishing and interactive software for the Children's Television Workshop, steps into her new role Nov. 1.

Ms. Link, 55, succeeds Donald D. Kummerfeld, who has been president since 1987. Mr. Kummerfeld announced plans to retire in May.

On the top of Ms. Link's priority list is to attend to the organization's primary role: promoting magazines.

GETTING FRONT AND CENTER

"We need to concentrate efforts on raising the visibility of magazines above all the media noise that's out there," Ms. Link said. "There's so much going on in media, and magazines haven't been out front and center in positioning themselves as an important part of the mix."

As MPA president, Ms. Link will be the industry's spokeswoman, chief lobbyist and the mediator of any disputes that may arise among members about how the association uses its resources. As a member of its executive committee for the past five years, Ms. Link is well versed in the various challenges the industry faces and said she is eager to get to work.

Advertising is "a critical part of the agenda," Ms. Link said, adding that she wants to make sure the MPA is an organization that "can really answer the questions of the advertisers and make sure we are giving them the answers they need" to keep magazines on their ad schedules. Lobbying efforts in Washington will continue to focus on issues of privacy, postal regulation and circulation, especially in regard to the industry's use of sweepstakes to sell subscriptions.

One of the reasons the search committee -- headed by Hearst Magazines President and incoming MPA Chairman Cathleen P. Black -- found Ms. Link an attractive candidate was her experience managing the media operations of Children's Television Workshop. Ms. Black cited Ms. Link's "breadth of publishing experience" and "passion for magazines and their exciting future" as reasons for her winning the job.

"No one knows for sure what the future will be in this multiple media world, but we do know magazines need to be very strategic about what their role is. I plan to stay in touch with what's developing in other media, and be very proactive," Ms. Link said.

27 YEARS AT CTW

Ms. Link first joined CTW in 1972 and has held such posts as magazine editor, education consultant, product designer and script writer for "Sesame Street."

Currently, she oversees five magazines, a marketing database, a book publishing imprint within Random House and an interactive division responsible for creating videogames and hand-held electronic toys.

Along with her five-year stint on the executive committee, Ms. Link served as chair of the MPA's Government Affairs Committee this past year. She has also been active on the MPA's new-media committee, postal task force, education committee and served as chairman of the MPA's Smaller Magazine Advisory Council

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