Paxson Communications Inc., the TV station group owner in West Palm Beach, FL, appointed Robert M. Hebenstreit as vice president of research for Pax Net, the family entertainment network scheduled to launch on Aug. 31. In his new job, Hebenstreit oversees the research department for the network's programming, affiliate relations and sale efforts through ratings analysis, audience trend reports and programming estimates for advertising presentations. Prior to joining Paxson, he was the vice president and director of research for Petry Television Inc., a national sales rep firm in New York for 16 years. Hebenstreit also was manager of television research for Avery-Knodel Inc., a sales rep firm specializing in independent television stations, and a senior research analyst for Blair Television's CBS division. He serves as chairman of the research group of the Television Bureau of Advertising.
Sheila Hamowy, a DRTV media buying specialist, started an independent media buying venture following layoffs at Williams Worldwide Inc., her previous employer. The DRTV media agency, based in Santa Monica, CA, had hired her in March, then eliminated the position the following month as it confronted financial problems of Kent & Spiegel Direct Inc., a major DRTV marketing client. Hamowy has two clients to start, Hawthorne Direct Inc. and Loadhandler Industries Inc.
Ray Barroca and Nancy Duitch, both former employees of the ailing DRTV marketing company Kent & Spiegel Direct Inc., formed their own consulting company, DB Direct Inc., Encino, CA. The new company provides consulting services to DRTV marketers that seek to place products in retail stores.
Barroca is CEO of the new firm, while Duitch is president. Barroca was executive vice president and chief operating officer of Kent & Spiegel, but had left the company last year. Duitch was formerly the director of Kent & Spiegel's retail department. The two said they expect to have seven employees during the startup phase, but do not intend to seek a high-growth strategy.
"We'll try to limit the items we take on," Barroca said. "We're not going out with a plan to create a bazillion dollar type of company; we want to be more 'boutiquish'."
Duitch said that confidentiality agreements limited her from discussing her most of her new company's clients, but said that she would continue to oversee the retail distribution for Iron Quick, an ironing device marketed by Quantum Direct Inc., Encino, CA.
Jeffrey Mandell was appointed chief financial officer at Mercury Media, a DRTV media buying agency in Santa Monica, CA. He formerly was the CFO of Marson/Gold Llc., a DRTV marketing company in Carlsbad, CA, where we worked for more than a year. Prior to that position, he worked for four years as CFO at Williams Worldwide Inc., a DRTV media buying agency in Santa Monica, CA. The CPA graduated from SUNY-Albany with a degree in accounting and worked for then-Big Eight accounting firm Touche Ross for 11 years.
Jesi Steward was appointed director of media sales at Frederiksen Television Inc., a DRTV agency in Falls Church, VA. In his new job, she is responsible for media sales on the Home Team Sports and Midwest Sports Channel local sports cable networks. She previously was sales manager for Naylor Publications in Sacramento, CA.