Award-winning media agency vet and local broadcast industry innovator Kathy Crawford is retiring from the media biz after more than three decades of service and leadership, effective 6/30. Crawford has served as President of Local Broadcast for MindShare NA, a unit of GroupM, since 2003. She’s been a leading proponent of initiatives designed to introduce electronic buying and eliminate excess paperwork from the local broadcast buying process. Crawford plans to continue her efforts in that arena after she leaves MindShare by working with GroupM Global CEO Irwin Gotlieb and the AAAAs on Project Reinvention. She’ll be relocating to her second home in Phoenix, the market where most of her kids reside.
Crawford tells RBR/TVBR the future depends on electronic transactions, “Which is the reason I am going to continue working on this project.”
Why retire now?
“It truly has been remarkable. I consider myself extraordinarily lucky to have worked with some of the most interesting, fun, exciting people in the world. But I’m not going to be completely gone from the business. It’s just that doing this full-time is not conducive to the family relationship I love so much, and I’ve missed my kids a lot. I promised them five years and it has been five years. It’s time to go home.”
“It’s difficult to overstate the many contributions Kathy has made over the years, not only to our company but also to our entire business,” said MindShare NA CEO Scott Neslund. “Kathy is not only a valued colleague but a good friend. And while I understand and accept her desire to retire, her candor, wit, and her unceasing professionalism will be deeply missed.”
Crawford began her career in the TV rep business in New York and then went station side at WTTG in Washington. She later moved to Los Angeles and joined Western International Media (now Initiative Media) for seven years as a broadcast supervisor on several retail accounts. She went back into sales for TeleRep and Petry TV in both LA and Denver.
In 1987, she moved to Phoenix and rejoined Western on the Circle K account. It was in Phoenix that she founded the DR division for Western working on such accounts as Brinks Home Security, The Church of the Latter Day Saints and Jenny Craig to name a few. In 1998 she returned to Los Angeles as EVP, Director of Local Broadcast for Western. Kathy was named a Media Maven by Advertising Age in December 2003.
RBR/TVBR observation: Here is a pure professional in every respect from her energy level to commitment to seeing a job completed. In a recent RBR Exclusive Roundtable discussion on the topic of PPM, Crawford’s thoughts and focus are far from retirement. For the years we at RBR/TVBR have been discussing media issues she has never mixed her words but has spoken them with passion. Kathy you are one of the best.