Previously, the company’s entertainment properties existed under two separate market groups — Film & Performing Arts and Music & Literary. The creation of the Entertainment Group is another step in Nielsen Business Media’s integration strategy. It allows the company to take a more comprehensive approach to serving the entertainment industry and more effectively harness the resources of its entertainment brands. The new division sets in place a more unified editorial approach across entertainment properties to provide audiences with the most inclusive, in-depth access to news, data, analysis and insights on every aspect of the industry. In addition, the comprehensive strategy offers advertisers in the film, television, music, theatre and literary industries enhanced, integrated opportunities to connect with their target customers across all of Nielsen’s entertainment media platforms.
John Kilcullen, who has served as Senior Vice President of the company’s Film & Performing Arts and Music & Literary groups since October 2006, will leave the company at the beginning of March to pursue his passion as an entrepreneur. In his five years with the company, Kilcullen has been instrumental in the strategic growth and development of Billboard. During his tenure as President and Publisher of Billboard since 2003, the brand has enjoyed record growth. John also successfully built strong senior leadership teams at The Hollywood Reporter, Back Stage, The Bookseller and Kirkus Reviews.
“Over the past several years, the entertainment industry has changed,” said Farrar. “It no longer operates in a segmented way, but approaches the business as a whole regardless of the platform or medium. To be successful, our ability to evolve with the industry and meet the needs of our audiences is critical. That means having a unified go-to-market strategy for our entertainment assets domestically and internationally. The Entertainment Group allows us to better serve our clients, be more nimble and responsive in the marketplace and heighten our competitive advantage.”
Farrar continued, “Gerry has led such a distinguished career and has already been a key member of our team. His outstanding accomplishments have made a tremendous impact on the media and publishing industries and we are fortunate to have Gerry lead this new division. I’m also extremely thankful to John, an entrepreneur whose mission was to put in place a strong foundation to grow these brands. As John moves on to his next challenge, I’m confident that Gerry will help further our position at Nielsen Business Media as a leader in entertainment, while defining the very future of our business.”
“Forming a single entertainment unit and strategic vision allows us to maximize our efforts across all platforms. It provides us with broader and more cohesive insight into what our clients need and helps us to better coordinate our approach toward the growing market and revenue opportunities,” said Byrne. “Going forward, our entertainment brands will work much more closely together to pursue new opportunities across the division and throughout The Nielsen Company. I’m looking forward to working with Greg and the team to strategically meet the challenges and seize the opportunities that await us with creativity and innovation.”
Byrne has served as an advisor to Nielsen Business Media since January 2007. In his new role, he has responsibility for the global entertainment, music and literary publishing enterprises across digital, print and face-to-face platforms. Brands in the portfolio include Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Back Stage, Kirkus Reviews, The Bookseller, Film Journal International, and the film industry expositions ShoWest, ShowEast, Cinema Expo International and CineAsia Exposition. Byrne will drive the strategic direction of the group and guide the brand leaders to create integrated opportunities and use data assets exclusive to Nielsen to engage audiences and clients.
A long-time industry veteran, Byrne founded Gerry Byrne Media Partners LLC, a full service media and marketing consultancy to the entertainment, communications and media industries, in 2003. Clients have included Tribeca Enterprises, Parade Magazine, Reed Business Information, Washington Life Magazine, Recognition Media, and Velocity Services Inc. Prior to that, Byrne was President and Chief Executive Officer and partner of Stagebill Media. Before Stagebill, Byrne served as Group Vice President and Publisher of Variety and Daily Variety and led the launch of Daily Variety’s “Gotham Edition” in March 1998. The Variety/Schroder “Big Picture” Conference, The Variety Leadership Forum, Variety.com, and Variety Book Publishing were also a part of his executive responsibilities. Byrne joined Variety from Norman Lear’s ACT III Publishing, where he was Senior Vice President of Planning and International Development. Prior to Act III, while at Crain Communications, Mr. Byrne was the start-up publisher of both Electronic Media (now Television Week) and Crain’s New York Business. At Advertising Age, also a Crain property, Byrne held positions first as the International Sales Director then as New York Sales Director. His career in publishing began at The New York Daily News.
Byrne is on the boards of several organizations including The Museum of the Moving Image and Fisher Houses. He was awarded the “Salah M. Hassanein Humanitarian Award” at ShowEast ’96 for his community involvements. New York’s Elaine Kaufman Cultural Center’s 2002 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Byrne for his business leadership and for his support of causes that benefit humanity. Additionally, the NYPD Marine Corps Association awarded him with its 2002 “Semper Fi” Award for his work in the community. Byrne is also a member of The Media Council of The Paley Center, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, The British Academy of Film & Television Arts, and is Vice Chairman of The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences.
In addition, as Chairman and Founder of the Quills Literacy Foundation and Executive Chairman of de Plumen LLC, Byrne led the 2005 launch of “The Quills”, a consumer-driven book awards program broadcast on the NBC/Universal Stations.
A native New Yorker and graduate of Fordham College, Byrne served as a United States Marine Corps Officer in Vietnam and was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon and the Navy Achievement Medal with Combat V.