Magna CEO Herbst-Brady Jumps To MTV For Ad Strategy Role

MagnaGlobal president and CEO Elizabeth Herbst-Brady is exiting her role after three years to join MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA) as EVP of ad sales strategy for the Viacom unit’s Music & Logo and Entertainment Groups, Adweek reported. She’ll report to Jeff Lucas, the head of sales for both cable network units. An MTVN spokesman confirmed the announcement.

Herbst-Brady has spent equal time on both sides of the ad sales and media buying divide.

The departure from MagnaGlobal, Interpublic Group’s media buying and planning unit, for MTVN represents a return to the sell side of the business for Herbst-Brady. Before arriving at Magna 20th Television, a division of News Corp.’s 20th Century Fox. Previously, she was a top media buyer for Publicis Groupe’s Starcom and left that agency in 2006 for 20th Television. She has also worked in ad sales at CBS (NYSE: CBS), and the Tribune Entertainment Company.

Her departure also comes a few months after MagnaGlobal lost its top forecaster, Brian Wieser, who became the CMO of a joint venture between Magna and targeted TV startup Simulmedia. She also walks away from the agency role as global advertising gains appear to be slowing somewhat.

Herbst-Brady will also work alongside Lucas’ other EVPs Brian Fays, Kevin Arrix, Neil Holt, Sean Moran, Peter Griffin, Dario Spina and Mike Tedone.

Last summer, MTV reorganized the heads of its Integrated Marketing Group with the return of MySpace (NSDQ: NWS) sales executive Angela Courtin to the company. That followed after MTV completed the revamp of its Fusion group, which oversees online advertising efforts. Along with agencies, broadcast and cable networks have increasingly sought to forge a greater seamlessness between offline and online sales. The focus on cross-platform was a particular focus of this year’s upfront, more so than in previous years. Considering its attraction to younger audiences, MTV has played particular attention to the use of mobile and social media as part of its marketing efforts. As she settles in to her new role, Herbst-Brady will be expected to look for newer ways to connect all those offline and online dots together.

Updated: Lucas was looking to fill the job since he had expanded his responsibilities recently (taking on the Music Group, in addition to the Entertainment Group) and he always had Herbst-Brady in mind for the job, an MTVN rep said. Lucas figured “it would be a great advantage to fill the position with someone who knew the business from both sides, and that, clearly, Elizabeth’s background will bring the most effective and forward thinking approach to sales strategy. I know that Elizabeth is going to make sure that we are in front of all opportunities with our clients and agencies and that we move faster and smarter than our competitors.”