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Veteran entertainment consultant and pollster Jon Penn has been named CEO of NRG, following the company’s sale to Mark Penn’s Stagwell Media.
NRG is a leading entertainment market-research firm best known for working closely with Hollywood movie studios and other film companies in both testing marketing materials and providing other critical feedback in the weeks and months leading up to a movie’s release, including projecting its opening weekend.
Penn arrives from NRG from Penn Schoen Berland, an influential polling firm co-founded by Mark Penn that worked closely with former President Bill Clinton. Jon Penn most recently served as global CEO of Penn Schoen’s media and entertainment practice, a division he helped establish. He also has served as contributor and pollster to The Hollywood Reporter.
This year, tracking services such as NRG have had a tough go of things, so Penn takes over at a crucial time. He will oversee the company‘s plan to modernize existing products, develop new digital offerings and expand its global capabilities. Interim CEO Howard Ballon will continue on at NRG as executive vp and work with Stagwell on acquisitions when the transition is complete.
“The Stagwell Group is pleased to have Jon coming to lead NRG at this critical juncture,” said Mark Penn. “He is an accomplished leader in entertainment market research. He is uniquely qualified to help us grow NRG with a strong focus on innovation and strategic thinking on behalf of our clients. ”
He continued: “During this period of immense industry change, our vision is to infuse NRG with added innovation, expanded talent and widened global reach across all phases of the production and marketing lifecycle around the world.”
Nielsen Media completed its deal to sell NRG to Stagewell on Nov. 30.
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