The Association of Magazine Media said Friday that it hired Linda Thomas Brooks as president and chief executive officer.
The former marketing executive replaces Mary Berner, who left the MPA to become ceo of radio station operator Cumulus Media Inc. Since Berner’s departure in September, Nancy Telliho had been serving as MPA’s interim president and ceo.
Before coming to the MPA, Brooks served as executive vice president and managing director of GM MediaWorks where she built GM Media Lab. She has also held leadership roles in companies such as GearDigital and The Martin Agency, among others.
Brooks addressed her strategy for the organization, adding: “My first and primary goal is to be an influential and effective industry voice promoting the innovation and strategic value of the magazine industry to all stakeholders—particularly the advertising and marketing communities. I’m looking forward to applying the skills I’ve gained through my agency experience viewing magazine media through a client’s lens.”
The new ceo elaborated on those remarks to WWD on Friday, explaining that advertisers want to “engage” consumers and “deliver ROI” [return on investment].
Those are two things are the “hallmarks of what magazines have brought through the years,” she said, before turning to native advertising, a hot-button issue that has been in the news recently after a ruling by the Federal Trade Commission.
The former marketing exec noted that advertising has long been part of magazine media.
“Those discussions [about the line between advertising and editorial] were always going on,” Brooks said, pointing to advertorials. “Magazine [publishers] have always dealt with it in an ethical, transparent way. The decision network [for publishers] is there.”
Although Brooks has only been on the job a day, she offered that she’d tap into her experience working with technology clients to navigate the changing media landscape.
When asked about the role of print for publishers today, she added: “Print is part of the delivery system but it’s not the misnomer anymore. Every magazine brand is on several platforms.”
And that point brought about the obvious question about the MPA’s in-house Magazine Media 360 measurement tool, which attempts to gage a media brand’s audience reach by looking at its digital, print and social media footprint in various ways.
“Like any index, the tool will stay updated and morph [with the changing landscape].” Brooks said. “It’s an incredible tool.”
Meredith Corp. chairman and ceo Stephen Lacy who also serves as the MPA’s chairman of the board of directors noted that Brooks would play an important role in further developing the 360 tool and other technologies.
“We believe Linda brings the exact skills and leadership we need, and look forward to her aggressively evangelizing and expanding these cutting-edge tools and solutions in the media and advertising marketplace,” Lacy said.