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(June 22, 2001) -- Longtime industry veteran Bob Igiel, president of broadcast for WPP Group's Media Edge, New York, will retire following the upfront TV buying period.

Mr. Igiel, who has spent 38 years in the business and has been at the Media Edge since 1994, has been responsible for over $3.1 billion in billings for clients such as AT&T Corp., Tricon Global Restaurants, Colgate-Palmolive and Dr Pepper-7-Up.

In a telephone interview, the 60-year-old Mr. Igiel said he has been moving toward retirement for over a year and informed management of his intentions as far back as January. He said his decision had nothing to do with the recent layoffs at Media Edge.

"The issue is really about my golf," he said.

The executive added that he may do some consulting and project work for Media Edge during his retirement.

No replacement has been named, and Mr. Igiel said his departure date is uncertain.

Among Mr. Igiel's recent accomplishments have been taking early gambles for his clients on now-hugely successful shows such as Survivor and Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Before Media Edge, Mr. Igiel was senior vice president at cable network A&E from 1989 to 1993, and from 1982 to 1989 he served as senior vice president and executive media director at NW Ayer.

"Bob has been an outstanding executive whose expertise and reputation has helped the Media Edge become a leader in broadcast media planning and buying," Beth Gordon, president-CEO of the Media Edge, said in a statetment. -- David Goetzl

Copyright June 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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