Initiative Gets New Broadcast Buyer

Todd Gordon Moves Over From MediaCom

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NEW YORK ( -- With the broadcast-TV upfront presentation week imminent, Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initiative has brought another negotiator into the mix, tapping MediaCom's Todd Gordon as the agency's new director of national broadcast.

Mr. Gordon is taking over the post currently held by Kris Magel, who is being promoted after six months at the agency to an exec VP role, where he will oversee all Initiative's national TV responsibilities for clients including Hyundai Motor America, Kao Brands and Bayer. Current senior VP-broadcast director Ray Dundas will continue in his role.

Outrunning the fads
"Todd is an experienced, professional buyer with a great reputation who knows all about the way the TV business works and is passionate about staying one step ahead of the zeitgeist," Initiative U.S. CEO Tim Spengler said in a prepared statement.

Mr. Gordon, 38, worked for nine years at MediaCom, where he was one of four people leading national broadcast on accounts including Diageo, Volkswagen, ConAgra and Michelin. Prior to that, Mr. Gordon worked at Lowe & Partners and DeWitt Media. It was at DeWitt that he first met and befriended Mr. Magel.

Mr. Gordon said he is working closely with Initiative's broadcast teams to prepare for this year's upfront, which faces much uncertainly due to sagging TV viewership and a weak economy. He predicted one of the biggest challenges for this year's negotiations will be the question of demand for inventory.

"There is still a lot of uncertainty," he said.

Seeking better metrics
During his time at Initiative, Mr. Gordon said, he wants to address the industry-wide need for increased accountability of TV and video.

"In every way, we have to continue to raise our game," he said. "That means having better metrics on everything we buy ... and being able to respond quicker and analyze things in different ways and to sort through multiple streams of data," he said.
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