Donna Wolfe departs Universal McCann

Was senior national television buyer

After putting in 13 years as the senior national television buyer at Universal McCann, Donna Wolfe is leaving the agency.

Effective immediately, Wolfe's duties will be divided between co-executive vps national broadcast Dani Benowitz and Catherine Warburton. Benowitz previously served as senior vp national broadcast buying for J3, the stand-alone Johnson & Johnson organization within UM. Warburton also had been a senior vp-level national TV buyer, having overseen the Sony account since March 2005.

Both buyers report to Jacki Kelley, president of UM North America.

In addition to retaining J&J oversight, Benowitz also will handle Nationwide, Dyson, Kohl's and the U.S. Army. In her six years at UM, Benowitz has generated more than $550 million in billings.

Warburton will continue to tend to the Sony account while adding Microsoft, Charles Schwab, Bacardi and L'Oreal.

Support for the BMW account will continue to be managed by senior vp national broadcast Annette Cerbone.

"The thinking is, we have two very capable executives who are ready to take on more responsibility, so it made much more sense to promote them both," Kelley said. She added that Wolfe will stay on with UM for a brief time.

"Donna's dedication to UM is unparalleled, and we are grateful for her service and her commitment," Kelley said.

A 21-year agency veteran, Wolfe most recently served as executive vp chief negotiations officer, where she oversaw national and local broadcast, as well as print and radio. She began managing national TV accounts in 1997.

Kelley said that splitting the TV buying duties should help UM better serve its clients, who are increasingly seeking a more collaborative relationship with their agency partners.

Last year, UM billings were up 11% to $7.1 billion. "We've been very fortunate in that many clients are looking at this as a period of opportunity to increase their market share," Kelley said. "Some are actually doubling down."