Mandel on leaving “NielsenConnect”; his next move; radio


Jon Mandel confirmed he has left as President of NielsenConnect, the unit charged with creating new products and services off of Nielsen’s portfolio of media and marketing research products and services. NielsenConnect is also being shut down and absorbed into other Nielsen units. Before joining Nielsen to launch NielsenConnect in 2006, Mandel was a top exec at GroupM and previous to that MediaCom Global Buying Officer/Co-CEO.

For his next move, Mandel tells RBR/TVBR there are some interesting opportunities out there. “But it was a great two years. We did some pretty neat shit. I’m an old fart, man—I’ve got one more shot at this, so I’ve just got to figure which one of these is right. And if not, I’ll just #%$*fish!”

Mandel isn’t kidding, because his pride and joy is a yacht named “Dog Sled.”

Commenting on our radio side—RBR—Mandel thinks there is some real opportunity out there for the radio medium: “One of the things that I have been talking about—I know the whole world thinks radio is like yesterday’s enchiladas, but there have been some interesting conversations I’ve had in the radio space.

Because if you think about it, the problem with radio isn’t radio. It’s the stupid financing deals that were done to buy all of these stations. If you look at the core business, it’s a great business. And I really do believe that the one media that will never, ever, ever go away is local-local-local. I’m not talking about the big DMA kind of thing—I’m talking about the good old fashioned, neighborhood shit. And other than Pennysavers, that’s radio.”

Mandel confirms he was considering a DC gig, but decided not to, simply because it is too far from the ocean. “I need ocean,” he tells RBR/TVBR. “Ironically, that was probably one of the biggest problems in the world about it.”

He adds there are a couple of offers on the table, but he doesn’t want to rush into it because he wants to make sure it’s right. The offers are in the media business, but not in the media buying business. However, since the news came out that Mandel has left Nielsen, he’s been getting a lot of calls about media buying opportunities. “That is not what I am specifically looking at…but shit, I’ll look at anything….I really have to make a decision by the end of March, because if I don’t, striper season opens. So it’s either by the end of March or I’m not going to decide until Thanksgiving, because that’s when the tuna leave.”

It’s nice to know he has that option!