Advertising Week Mediafest: Out with the Old Models

Geoffrey Precourt

Frank Bennack doesn’t look much like a rock star. But, more than any other media executive in the United States, when he talks, people pay very close attention.

The chief executive officer of Hearst Corp. is in his second tenure in that position; the first lasted 23 years and the second began in June 2008. On his watch, the company has partnered with ABC to launch three cable television networks (A&E, History and Lifetime) and invested in a fourth (ESPN); launched such magazines as Country Living, O, The Oprah Magazine, Marie Claire and SmartMoney; and purchased 11 newspapers, including two of the nation's largest, the Houston Chronicle and the San Francisco Chronicle. And, most recently, in June 2010, he steered Hearst Corp.’s $325-million of digital advertising agency iCrossing.