Aol time warner did not pay cash bonuses to its top brass in 2001 and shifted the top executives to stock-based bonuses. In a proxy statement filed March 26 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company noted its top executives-retiring CEO Gerald Levin, Chairman Steve Case, Co-Chief Operating Officers Bob Pittman and Richard Parsons and Vice Chairmen Kenneth Novack and Ted Turner-will receive their bonuses as stock options "solely dependent on future stock performance." Other members of management received cash bonuses "generally somewhat below target amounts," mainly due to the company's financial performance, the proxy said. AOL's stock has dropped from a high of $55.77 last year to a low of $23 in February; it closed at $23.65 March 28.
Milton Berle, `Mr. Television,' dies
M ilton berle, the comedian and former vaudeville master of ceremonies responsible for kicking off America's TV-watching habit, died March 27. He was 93. Mr. Berle was host of "Texaco Star Theater," which ran from 1948 to 1954, and then for another year as the "Buick-Berle Show." In 1947, Life reported the U.S. had 17 TV stations broadcasting to 136,000 sets. By the end of 1948, more than 50 stations were broadcasting to 700,000 sets. Myron Kirk, an advertising executive with Kudner Agency, approached Mr. Berle early in 1948 for his client, Texaco Co., to ask him to host a radio show. That show, "Texaco Star Theater," ran on Wednesday nights at 9 p.m., and became the basis of the TV show later that year.
NFL's new drinks: Coors and Pepsi
C oors and pepsico replaced their respective archrivals as official National Football League sponsors last week, but it was a win-win situation all around. Coors Brewing Co. replaced Anheuser-Busch Cos. and Miller Brewing Co. as the NFL's official beer sponsor, while Pepsi assumed Coca-Cola Co.'s spot as the soft-drink provider. According to persons close to the negotiations, the Coors deal was for five years-four years with an NFL option for a fifth-at an estimated $300 million, a boon to Coors, the country's No.3 brewer behind A-B and Miller. "Coors is unquestionably the David of the beer world," said Dean Bonham, president of Denver-based sports marketing firm Bonham Group. "Anheuser-Busch is the Goliath and Miller is the little brother." The Pepsi deal was also five years at a total of $200 million. Both deals give the marketers exclusive rights to the NFL shield, Super Bowl and Pro Bowl marks, the NFL Draft, as well as well as collective rights to use all 32 team logos. But A-B, Miller and Coke will still be able to advertise on the NFL broadcast and are now free to cut deals individually with teams. The Coors and Pepsi deals were first reported on AdAge.com. AdAge.com QwikFIND aan32c, aan32n
D'Arcy's St. Louis office to close
Bcom3 group's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles will shutter its office in St. Louis, opened in 1906 by agency founder William Cheever D'Arcy. Two global accounts currently managed from St. Louis will shift to other locations. Mars' Skittles and Combos will likely move to New York. Mars' Whiskas and Uncle Ben's are likely to shift to Los Angeles. Some of D'Arcy's 40 employees may move with the businesses, depending upon available opportunities. "It is a shame to see D'Arcy leave. They were a company rich with tradition," said Les Diveley, president of Arnold Worldwide, St. Louis, adding that his company is hiring. AdAge.com QwikFIND aan32g
OgilvyOne loses its head
A s ogilvyone, Chicago, gets ready to present next week as a finalist for DeVry's $35 million to $40 million TV and direct-marketing account, the marketing-services division of WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather finds itself without a managing director. The resignation of Mark Hodes, which Mr. Hodes confirmed, leaves the managing director's post vacant for the second time in two years. Mr. Hodes, who joined OgilvyOne only eight months ago to fill a post left open when his predecessor left at the end of 2000, is pursuing other opportunities. An OgilvyOne spokeswoman said the agency will look for a replacement. AdAge.com QwikFIND aan31y
Gillette co. rolls out two campaigns this month from Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York, for MACH3Turbo and Venus as part of an integrated marketing campaign that includes TV, print, outdoor, Internet and in-store merchandising. The Gillette for Women Venus campaign, featuring three ads using the tagline "Reveal the goddess in you," breaks today. TV ads for the company's new flagship MACH3Turbo shaving system follow April 22. ... Philip Morris Cos.' soon-to-be President-CEO Louis Camilleri, currently the company's chief financial officer, is set to replace Geoffrey Bible, who will retire in August, at the annual shareholder meeting April 25. Last week, Mr. Camilleri named Dinyar Devitre as his successor to become senior VP-chief financial officer, rejoining the company he left in 1997 to assume a senior executive position with Citigroup in Europe. AdAge.com QwikFIND aan32h ... Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide has restructured the management of its $200 million Taco Bell account, naming Jim Harrington, president of FCB Southern California, Irvine, Calif., to head the account. He replaces Greg Sieck, exec VP-worldwide account director, who left the San Francisco FCB office earlier this month. Both the Irvine and San Francisco FCB offices share work on the account. Heidi Roberts, formerly of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, becomes senior VP-group account director.