Mary Berner, the president and chief executive officer of The Association of Magazine Media, is moving on, following the completion of her three-year term at the helm of the company.
Berner will become ceo of radio station operator Cumulus Media Inc., effective Oct. 13, but she will remain an “ex officio” member of the MPA board of directors. Nancy Telliho, senior vice president of marketing and digital initiatives, will become interim ceo of the magazine-centric firm. Telliho has more than 30 years of experience in magazine marketing, advertising and general management, including 20 years at The Washington Post.
“Mary worked closely with the board on the industry’s vision for propelling the magazine media forward,” said MPA chairman Steve Lacy, who also serves as chairman and ceo of Meredith Corp. “In her role as president and ceo of MPA, Mary and the board marshaled the resources of an entire industry to transform how it is perceived during a time of massive disruption brought about by the digital explosion.”
What Lacy is referring to is the MPA’s new metric for measuring the reach of a magazine brand through various channels including digital, social and print. Berner’s ushering of the metric dubbed the “Magazine Media 360 Brand Audience Report” has come under criticism as it fails to provide newsstand sales figures and print advertising pages. Under Berner, the organization ceased reporting ad pages, even though print revenue is still sizable at many fashion-centric magazines.
As part of her farewell, Berner offered: “I am proud of the work that we have achieved over the past three years. With Magazine 360, the industry was able to set aside its fiercely competitive culture to provide a transparent view of audience consumption across platforms, allowing MPA to confirm that magazine media is delivering double-digit audience growth year-over-year.”
That said, with her departure, Berner is moving to a different, yet pressured, medium — radio. The company is the second-largest operator of radio stations in the U.S., with more than 460 stations in 90 markets and offices in New York, Atlanta and Dallas. She succeeds Cumulus founder and ceo Lew Dickey, who will stay on as vice chairman and continue as director of the company. Under Berner’s direction, Cumulus said it hopes to expand into digital and other “emerging platforms.”
Prior to the MPA, Berner has held several business-side positions in print media at Reader’s Digest; Condé Nast; the-then Fairchild Publications, parent of WWD, and TV Guide.