New Leadership Takes the Helm at TMP

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Stuart McKelvey is no longer CEO of TMP Directional Marketing, a position he had held since 1998. He is leaving the Yellow Pages ad agency founded by his father, Andrew, in 1967 to join Health Diagnostic, also founded by the elder McKelvey, who is reported to be seriously ill with pancreatic cancer.

Replacing Stuart McKelvey, who will remain on the TMPDM board, is Michael Flanagan, who had been the company’s chief financial officer since 2003 and was recently named president. TMPDM was acquired from Monster Worldwide in 2005 by the private equity firm Audax Group for a reported US$52 million. Flanagan was in charge of the transition team following the acquisition.

TMP remains the largest Yellow Pages agency, or CMR, with billings of around US$500 million, which is roughly one-quarter of all national Yellow Pages billings.

Overall, the national Yellow Pages business has been challenging in recent years, as national advertisers demand greater accountability for all their ad spending, and are increasingly shifting budget online, often using resources other than their CMRs to place the ads. Many CMRs face the prospect of making substantial investments in order to remain competitive, all while revenues from their traditional business are being squeezed.

At last week’s Association of Directory Marketing meeting in San Antonio, Texas, ADM President Herb Gordon announced that TMP had left the association (taking with it a reported $250,000 in annual dues), and it did not send its usual contingent to the conference, which is an annual opportunity for CMRs and their clients to network with publishers.

Update 11/06/08: I learned today that our initial estimate of $250,000 for TMP’s dues was high. The correct figure is closer to $150,000.

In the statement announcing TMP’s departure from ADM, McKelvey said the following: “This decision is no reflection on the ADM staff. They have performed a superb job over the years under very challenging circumstances. We have based our decision on the fact that the CMR environment is more challenging than ever, and we believe we can allocate our limited investment dollars in other areas to best serve our clients.

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