New Nielsen portfolio has Byrne on top


Media industry veteran Gerry Byrne has been tapped by Nielsen Business Media to head its newly created Entertainment Group as senior vp beginning March 1. Based in New York, Byrne will report to Greg Farrar, president of Nielsen Business Media.

Byrne served as an adviser to Nielsen Business Media since January 2007. In his new role, he will have responsibility for the global entertainment, music and literary publishing enterprises across digital, print and face-to-face platforms. Brands in the portfolio include The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Back Stage, Kirkus Reviews, The Bookseller and Film Journal International and the film industry trade shows ShoWest, ShowEast, Cinema Expo International and CineAsia Exposition.

Byrne will drive the strategic direction of the group and guide the brand leaders to create integrated opportunities and use data assets exclusive to Nielsen to engage audiences and clients.

The creation of the Entertainment Group is another step in Nielsen Business Media's integration strategy, setting in place a more unified editorial approach across entertainment properties to provide audiences with the most inclusive, in-depth access to news, data, analysis and insights on every aspect of the industry. In addition, the comprehensive strategy offers advertisers in the film, television, music, theater and literary industries enhanced opportunities to connect with their target customers across all of Nielsen's platforms. Previously, the company's entertainment properties existed under two separate market groups: Film & Performing Arts and Music & Literary.

John Kilcullen, who has served as senior vp of the company's Film & Performing Arts and Music & Literary groups since October 2006, will leave at the end of the month to pursue his passion as an entrepreneur.

In his five years with the company, Kilcullen has been instrumental in the strategic growth of Billboard. During his tenure there as president and publisher since 2003, the brand has enjoyed record growth. As publisher of The Hollywood Reporter, Back Stage, The Bookseller and Kirkus Reviews, Kilcullen built strong senior leadership teams.

"Gerry's outstanding accomplishments have made a tremendous impact on the media and publishing industries, and we are fortunate to have him lead this new division," Farrar said. "I'm also extremely thankful to John, an entrepreneur whose mission was to put in place a strong foundation to grow these brands. As John moves on to his next challenge, I'm confident that Gerry will help further our position at Nielsen Business Media as a leader in entertainment."

In 2003, Byrne founded Gerry Byrne Media Partners, a media and marketing consultancy to the entertainment, communications and media industries. Clients have included Tribeca Enterprises, Parade Magazine, Reed Business Information and Washington Life Magazine. Before that, Byrne was president-CEO and partner of Stagebill Media.

Before Stagebill, Byrne served as vp and publisher of Variety and Daily Variety and led the launch of Daily Variety's Gotham Edition in March 1998. He also had stints at Norman Lear's ACT III Publishing, where he was senior vp planning and international development, and at Crain Communications, where he was the start-up publisher of both Electronic Media (now Television Week) and Crain's New York Business. His career in publishing began at the New York Daily News.

Nielsen Business Media is responsible for 42 publications, more than 135 trade shows and conferences and 195 digital products and services.