Drury Driving Local Media Changes

Feb 13, 2008  •  Post A Comment

When GroupM Chief Investment Officer Rino Scanzoni reorganized its local broadcast buying operations, he brought in Ellen Drury.
Mr. Scanzoni’s plan is to consolidate the local broadcast units from GroupM’s three agencies—Mediaedge:cia, MindShare and MediaCom—into two teams.
Heading one of the teams, dubbed Team Matrix, is Ms. Drury, who worked with Mr. Scanzoni on the Paramount Pictures account when they were both at MediaVest. (Rebecca Rogers from Mediaedge was named president of Team Motion.) Each team will have more than $1 billion in billings, giving them sizable clout.
“Initially my role is to analyze the processes of the individual buying units to help establish a consistent, best-in-class approach to local buying, and that includes negotiating and forecasting, cost benchmarking, buy stewardship,” Ms. Drury said. “Those are the fundamentals of what local does, and to do them on a larger scale and on a consistent basis is very important.”
In the Internet age, local media sometimes appear to be still doing an old-fashioned business in old-fashioned ways.
Ms. Drury said she recently read an article saying that all offline advertising is going to be online in 10 years.
“I’m not sure that I completely believe that kind of radical statement,” she said. “Ask me in five years. I may think differently.”
Until then, however, Ms. Drury said changes are being made in both the way local broadcasters sell advertising and what they’ve got to offer.
“They’re going to come faster now,” she said. “There are certainly a lot of initiatives on the sales side to make it a more comprehensive and easier path.”
Local media Web sites are generating heavy usage as people check out local news, weather and sports, but it’s been easier to buy those sites on a national basis, by going through a station group or a company that reps multiple stations.
“The people that are selling and buying are getting smarter about it, so I think they’re good places to be,” she said. “And transactionally, business is done on the local level, so that’s important too.”
Ms. Drury grew up in Pittsburgh and went to Ohio State University. She was a history major, but was never sure just what kind of job she wanted.
After college, she moved to New York, where one of her sisters was working in the advertising business.
“She said, ‘Are you interested?’ I said, ‘Yeah, sure,’” Ms Drury recalled. (Advertising turned out to be an attractive career choice for another of her sisters and her brother.)
Ms. Drury got her first job at Ed Libov Associates, then moved to another independent media agency, Time Buying Services.
“During those years I was really able to hone my negotiation skills and strategy skills,” she said. “It was before the [advertising] agencies unbundled their media-buying units, and it was a great place to be. We were media specialists.”
She moved to MediaVest, before moving on to Zenith Optimedia, which gave her an opportunity to work on cross-platform and multi-station deals, which “sets the stage for what we’re going to try to accomplish at GroupM,” she said.
Ms. Drury—herself one of two sets of twins in her family—is the mother of 22-year-old triplets, two boys and a girl. Her sons are in college at Duke and Johns Hopkins and won’t be following her into the advertising business, she said. Her daughter has cerebral palsy.
For fun, Ms. Drury is a runner and has completed several marathons. She recently got herself a Nike Plus, which connects her sneakers to an iPod Nano.
“It was one of those ‘Dead of winter, what can I do to get you out there when it’s 20 degrees and nasty out’ things,” she said.
In addition to playing music, the gadget allows her to chart her mileage and have competitions with other runners.
Ms. Drury is also a volunteer with the Great Swamp Watershed Association, which does water sampling and helps maintain the national park and refuge in New Jersey.
Who knew: “Did I mention that I have the cutest dog in the world?” Ms. Drury asks. Her pet is a miniature dachshund named Brutus, after the Ohio State Buckeye mascot. “He’s like a puppy still at 9 years old,” she said, adding that he does dog tricks like rolling over. “He’s just very lovable,” she said.


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