Magna Global Moves Into TV Programming

05 February 2002

Interpublic’s media-negotiating subsidiary, Magna Global, is to spawn an offshoot specializing in TV programming.

Magna Entertainment will be headed by Robert Riesenberg, former executive vp of broadcast and programming at sister-company Universal McCann Entertainment. As executive vp and director of the fledgling venture, he will responsible for creating programming for TV and video markets.

Says Magna Global chairman Bill Cella: “Magna Global is now three things. It’s about creating leverage in the buying marketplace; it is a knowledge-based company based on our research and data operations; and now it will also be about programming.”

The newcomer will spread its wings beyond existing clients of Universal McCann, also peddling its wares to the combined client lists of Initiative Media Worldwide and other Interpublic media operations.

“We are not in that business [of competing with other program makers],” insists Cella. “We are in the business of serving our clients.” So how will Magna Entertainment differ from the competition?

“We call it product integration,” he explains. “We just don't put [clients’] products in shows, we put them in where they belong. For example in Lost, we gave [Coca-Cola's] Dasani water to contestants trekking through the desert.”

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