Nielsen Business Media forms Entertainment Group

Media industry veteran Byrne to head division

Nielsen Business Media on Wednesday announced the creation of an Entertainment Group that brings together the company's leading entertainment brands into one unit. Media industry veteran Gerry Byrne has been tapped as senior vp and will lead the division beginning Saturday. Based in New York, Byrne will report to Nielsen Business Media president Greg Farrar.

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, integrated opportunities to connect with their target customers across all of Nielsen's platforms. Previously, the company's entertainment properties existed under two market groups: Film & Performing Arts and Music & Literary.

John Kilcullen, who since October 2006 has served as senior vp of the Film & Performing Arts and Music & Literary groups as well as publisher of The Hollywood Reporter, will leave the company at the end of February to pursue his passion as an entrepreneur. In his five years with the company, Kilcullen has been instrumental in the strategic growth and development of Billboard. During his tenure as president and publisher of Billboard since 2003, the brand has enjoyed record growth. John also successfully built strong senior leadership teams at The Hollywood Reporter, Back Stage, The Bookseller and Kirkus Reviews.

"Over the past several years, the entertainment industry has changed," Farrar said. "It no longer operates in a segmented way, but approaches the business as a whole regardless of the platform or medium. To be successful, our ability to evolve with the industry and meet the needs of our audiences is critical. That means having a unified go-to-market strategy for our entertainment assets domestically and internationally. The Entertainment Group allows us to better serve our clients, be more nimble and responsive in the marketplace and heighten our competitive advantage."

Byrne has been an adviser to Nielsen Business Media since January 2007. In his new role, he has responsibility for the global entertainment, music and literary publishing enterprises across digital, print and face-to-face platforms. Brands in the portfolio include Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Back Stage, Kirkus Reviews, The Bookseller, Film Journal International as well as 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.

"Gerry has led such a distinguished career and has already been a key member of our team," Farrar said. "His outstanding accomplishments have made a tremendous impact on the media and publishing industries, and we are fortunate to have Gerry lead this new division. 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."

Byrne founded Gerry Byrne Media Partners, a media and marketing consultancy in 2003. Clients have included Tribeca Enterprises, Parade Magazine, Reed Business Information and Washington Life Magazine. Prior to that, Byrne was president and CEO and partner of Stagebill Media.

Before Stagebill, Byrne was vp and publisher of Variety and Daily Variety and led the launch of Daily Variety's "Gotham Edition" in March 1998. Byrne joined Variety from Norman Lear's ACT III Publishing, where he was senior vp planning and international development. Before Act III, while at Crain Communications, he was the startup publisher of both Electronic Media (now Television Week) and Crain's New York Business. At Advertising Age, also a Crain property, Byrne held positions first as the international sales director then as New York sales director. His career in publishing began at the New York Daily News.

Byrne is on the boards of several organizations, including the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. He also is a member of the Media Council of the Paley Center, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the British Academy of Film & Television Arts. In addition, as chairman and founder of the Quills Literacy Foundation and executive chairman of de Plumen, Byrne led the 2005 launch of "The Quills," a consumer-driven book awards program broadcast on the NBC Universal TV stations.

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