Ziff Davis Media Steals Another DoubleClick Media Exec

Consumer and technology magazine publisher Ziff Davis Media made another successful grab for an executive out of DoubleClick’s media business, snatching five-year employee Beth-Ann Eason from the Alley-based ad network.

As a result, Eason begins Monday as senior vice president of business development at New York-based Ziff Davis Media’s Business Media Group. Eason formerly served as vice president and general manager of DoubleClick’s media network.

Eason’s departure follows the path of another DoubleClick executive, Wenda Harris Millard. As an executive vice president at DoubleClick, Millard had overseen the company’s global media division. But since December, she’s been head of Ziff Davis Media’s online unit.

Like Millard, Eason held previous positions at SRDS, Family Circle and Adweek Magazines. She served as associate publisher of SRDS’s Interactive Advertising Source, and advertising director of the TV & Cable Source and Radio Advertising Source.

She also served as an account manager at Family Circle and Adweek Magazines — while Millard held publishing positions in the same publications.

Furthermore, Eason also worked at SRDS at the same time as Ziff Davis Media’s president and chief executive, James Dunning.

“We are creating a world-class management team that is attracting the top talent in the industry,” Dunning said. “We are continuing to invest in our company so that we provide our readers and customers the absolute best content in the industry, in all forms of media.”

The news also comes as DoubleClick is making efforts to distance itself from its media business, as online advertising plays continue to be pummeled in the markets on concerns about measurement and effectiveness.

For one, DoubleClick has been focusing on its technology solutions and its research business — recently repackaging its online market and advertising research offerings into a unit called Diameter. New York-based competitor 24/7 Media likewise is also heavily promoting its broadband services unit, which focuses on setting up and delivering content for interactive TV firms.

Ziff Davis, perhaps sensing opportunity, has been busy plucking other executives from the troubled online ad industry. In addition to Millard and Eason, the company recently stole away two employees from CMGI’s ad network Engage — vice president of media sales Jenny Gomatos and West Coast sales director Michele Anet-Kuhns.

Ziff Davis, which publishes magazines like PC Magazine and CIO Insight, said Eason would be responsible for cross-publication sales in the business media group. Additionally, Eason likely will be involved with new ad products and publications, said the unit’s president, Al Perlman.

“We are continuing to build out the strongest organization in technology publishing and we will continue to take an aggressive approach to new product development,” Perlman said. “This will include new publications, events and other products that support our base of subscribers and advertisers.”

The company declined to go into detail about upcoming publication and advertising plans, but it is likely looking to tap into Eason’s experience at DoubleClick — especially with duties that Perlman described as including “cross-platform sales.” Eason oversaw the business development and direct sales at the network, working with DoubleClick’s publishers and a list of advertisers that included IBM, American Express and British Airways.

Eason also previously managed DoubleClick’s New York Strategic Sales Force, helped launch DoubleClick’s Select network, and developed an East Coast business development department.

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