FRANCES PAGE, MAGNA GLOBAL

Bringing Together Advertisers, Producers and Networks

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Speculation about who would replace Robert Riesenberg at Magna Global Entertainment didn't last long. Frances Page was immediately elevated to principal for strategy and business affairs,

Frances Page, principal for strategy and business affairs, Magna Global Entertainment.

following Mr. Riesenberg's January departure to Omnicom Group.

Ms. Page, 44, moved to Magna Global from Universal McCann, a sibling unit of Interpublic Group of Cos., where she worked on the Coca-Cola Co. account.

'Smooth transition'
"We knew her already, and it was a smooth transition," says Ben Silverman, president-CEO of production company Reveille, who worked with Mr. Riesenberg on the reality series The Restaurant. The show is back this spring on NBC Universal's NBC.

Next up for Magna Global is Blow Out, about life at a Beverly Hills hair salon, also from Reveille. The reality show debuts June 8 on NBC's Bravo cable network. "It's an eye into the world of Beverly Hills caretaking that we [normally] just don't see," says Ms. Page. The show is backed by marketers including LensCrafters, Revlon and American Express Open.

Also on Ms. Page's agenda is a music special for NBC called The Apollo at 70: A Hot Night in Harlem, airing June 19.

Ms. Page's job is largely one of a packager, bringing together advertisers, producers and networks, and structuring deals that work for everyone. She will also seek scripts to develop for networks. "She's been a really effective executive, a good negotiator and a decent person," Mr. Silverman says.

An art historian's eye
The Wellesley College art history graduate uses her knowledge of that subject to help see the visual potential of pitches. While the branded entertainment business attracts only a small portion of ad revenue right now, Ms. Page sees a time not long off when it will be much more significant.

"Not everyone is doing it yet," she says. "We need to ultimately make it acceptable to the viewer. When it gets to be 40% [of ad budgets], will we say, 'What have we created?' " As Ms. Page goes about her business, she tries to keep in mind that she's as much a caretaker of the product as she is a dealmaker.

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