Following news of the abrupt departure of Nielsen Audio Managing Director Brad Kelly, Nielsen will combine its local audio and television businesses together into one unit, headed by Catherine Herkovic, Executive VP, Managing Director, Local Television, Inside Radio has confirmed.
Herkovic will lead Nielsen’s North America Audio and Local TV business, reporting to Amilcar Perez, Chief Revenue Officer of the company’s Audience Measurement Business. The appointment is part of a sprawling reorganization at Nielsen, which was acquired by Evergreen Coast Capital and Brookfield Business Partners, along with other equity partners for $16 billion in October.
“We recently reorganized the way we operate in order to effectively engage our clients and provide them strategic value,” a Nielsen spokesperson told Inside Radio in an email.
Herkovic has been making the rounds as Executive VP/Managing Director of Local TV/Audio.
She has a combined 23 years’ experience at Nielsen and predecessor Nielsen Media Research, most of it working in television. She spent the last four years running the company’s local television business. Before that she was Senior VP, Client Solutions; GBS/Media Global Quality Leader; and Senior VP, Managing Director of National Television Client Services.
Herkovic is well regarded in the television industry. In 2020, she was recognized as a Top Woman in Media’ by Cynopsis, a trade publication for the television, media and sports TV industries. The award is given to “trailblazers who are pushing the industry forward, while empowering and inspiring others.” Herkovic received the Industry Leader award, given to leaders “who take decisive action, break down barriers, invent new solutions and apply creative thinking to solve complex issues.”
However, Herkovic has little to no radio experience which will require a steep learning curve for a business that is transitioning from a traditional broadcast business model to a multiplatform strategy. Herkovic will also be tasked with bringing the radio industry on board with Nielsen’s audio plans for its Nielsen One cross-platform measurement service, which begins its long-awaited rollout tomorrow, Jan. 11 with Nielsen One Ads, which will measure video ads across screens at the second level. Nielsen One is a top business priority for Nielsen. But it has yet to reveal publicly how audio fits into those plans.
Outpouring Of Support For Brad Kelly
Kelly’s last day at Nielsen is Friday, Jan. 13, 2023. He has served in the top position in Nielsen’s Audio division since January 2016, when he was promoted from Senior VP/Sales Director, making him the first top executive devoted solely to its radio business since Nielsen purchased Arbitron in September 2013.
Since news of his exit was first reported Dec. 19 by Inside Radio in a Breaking News Alert, there has been an outpouring of nearly 100 posts on his LinkedIn page, acknowledging his contributions to the industry.
“Brad, you are a rock star and a radio first-teamer. Looking forward to your next chapter. Rooting for you,” wrote Larry Patrick, Managing Partner at Legend Communications.
“Thank you for your thoughtful and consistent advocacy of our industry, Brad,” posted Steve Jones President & CEO at Skyview Networks. “You should be very proud of everything you did at Nielsen,” wrote Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan.
The kudos also came from executives in the ad buying community. “I’ve said it before, Brad Kelly was solely responsible for half-a-billion dollars of US radio in past years,” wrote John Fix, Founding Member of Oral Care Team – Most Senior Media Analyst at Procter & Gamble.
And there is praise from within the Nielsen organization.
“Brad your impact on the business of Audio has been remarkable. Thank you on behalf of the industry for working so hard to showcase the value of the medium,” wrote Bill Rose, Senior VP, Audio Client Solutions. Added Bruce Supovitz, Senior VP/Sales Manager, National Audio Services, “Brad, you have been an amazing colleague, leader and friend for over 27 years. Your relentless advocacy for radio/audio both internally and externally is appreciated by both your team and our clients.”
Other industry players posting praise and support include Alberto Rodriguez, President/COO, Spanish Broadcasting System; Fred Jacobs, President, Jacobs Media; Peter Smyth, former Greater Media CEO; Drew Horowitz, CEO, Gemini Strategies & Advisory; Otto Padron, CEO, Meruelo Media; Dan Mason, former CBS Radio CEO; Jeffrey Liberman, President and COO, Entravision Communications; James Starace, VP of Business Operations, Focus 360; and Darrell Calton, CEO, Iliad Media Group.
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