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Direct Response Marketing

Field Reports

1 Apr, 2009 By: Thomas Haire, Jacqueline Renfrow Response

DMA Makes More Cutbacks

By Jacqueline Renfrow (

NEW YORK — In early March, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) underwent its second round of cutbacks, letting go 26 employees and simultaneously canceling some events.

In the past five months, the organization has reduced its staff by more than 50 employees, bringing the current count to 86 staffers. The decision, as stated by John Greco, president of DMA, in a letter to members, was to have "less dependence on the more volatile parts of our traditional revenue, especially our large portfolio of conferences and events. Like everyone else, we are resetting to make sure we're prepared to ride out this recession."

The DMA assured members that it would continue with DMA09, DMDays, the Nonprofit Federation conferences and E-mail Evolution Conference, as well as partner on events such as ACCM, NCOF and NCDM. All other events will be cancelled or partnered in with a premiere event.

DMA will make changes in the research department, including outsourcing some of the process and changing the service delivery model. It will continue to publish key reports.

"First and foremost, we are positioning ourselves to continue to provide outstanding member service," wrote Sue Geramian, senior vice president of communications, media and public relations at DMA, in an E-mail. "With this in mind, we will focus on strengths that we know the direct marketing community counts on us for, such as our own signature conferences and events and partner events."

Google's Armstrong Heads to AOL

By Jacqueline Renfrow (

NEW YORK — Tim Armstrong, senior vice president of Google, is leaving for a new position as chairman and CEO of Time Warner's AOL, starting April 7. AOL's current chairman and CEO, Randy Falco, along with COO Ron Grant, will leave the company.

"Tim is the right executive to move AOL into the next phase of its evolution," says Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner Inc.

Dennis Woodside, who was serving Google's European operations in a similar role, has been chosen by the company to replace Armstrong with the title of vice president, Americas operations.


> Darren Fisher joins Direct Response Media Inc., a DRTV management company, as executive vice president and general manager, while Robert P. Portaro joins the company as director of new business development. Previously, Fisher provided client-side media consulting to Murad Inc., and also served as director of business development for DirectAvenue. Portaro worked at Livemercial Inc., where he served as executive vice president and worked closely to integrate the company's streaming video technology with Internet marketing.

Darren Fisher
Darren Fisher

> Ignite Media Solutions announces the addition of Gary Smith, CIO, and Tom Murphy, CTO, to its executive team.

> Atomic Direct's 60-second DRTV spot "Patio" for System Pavers was recently recognized with a Telly Award – the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional and cable TV commercials and programs as well as the finest in video and film production. System Pavers is the fifth largest remodeling company in the United States, and the DRTV spot is part of a group of spots produced by Atomic.


> Ronco Acquisition LLC is launching three new products in its line of Popeil inventions as Ronco celebrates its 50th anniversary. The products include Coffeetime Brew System, Mongolian Barbeque Grill and the Electric Pasta and Sausage Maker.

> Fern Lee, Paul Levinsohn and other investment partners join together to launch Factor Nutrition Labs LLC (FNL). FNL was formed to acquire and develop nutritional supplement and health-related consumer products and will market and distribute products through retail, DR, radio, online and international channels.

> Live Chat, the new online customer support service from Moulton Logistics Management, helps DRTV and other direct response marketers increase online sales and improve customer retention by providing customers with the ability to chat live online and on-demand with trained customer service agents.

> Robinson Radio signs with Progressive Loan Assistance to launch a short-form DR radio campaign. The campaign targets consumers who are having trouble with payday loan debt and consumers will be able to speak to counselors live or visit The radio campaign will serve as a testing mechanism before the company launches a national TV campaign with Skystorm Productions in May.

> Through Newton Media, time on KTAQ-TV (channel 47) in Dallas, is now available to paid programmers. Newton Media began working with KTAQ in 2008 and as of March, will represent the station's paid programming inventory.

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