MediaTalk: Survey charts mentions

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Making waves in the media is an occupational hazard for media executives, and those best at creating sound bites-or returning reporters' calls-consistently make the news.

Advertising Age has tracked the frequency of top media types' appearances in the news since 1997 in an annual, customized survey conducted by Delahaye Medialink Public Relations Research. The research reflects top media executives' appearances in media outlets over the 12 months leading up to the Media Mavens Special Report.

This year's rankings reveal some subtle changes in the way media luminaries are showing up in the news, but Jon Mandel, co-managing director of Grey Global Group's MediaCom Worldwide, New York, once again took the top spot. Frequently reached for his take on broadcast negotiations and the upfront market-especially youth programming-Mr. Mandel has consistently ranked near the top in agency media buyer surveys. With a final score of 232, he's far and away the leader.

Close behind Mr. Mandel this year was Tim Spengler, exec VP-director of national broadcast at Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initiative Media North America, Los Angeles, who moved into the No. 2 spot from No. 7, reflecting his growing authority in the media industry and his reflections on national broadcast negotiations.

The group continues to spread the word primarily through newspaper and trade publications, with far fewer opportunities to trumpet their views on TV.