Brown ad agency revamps in New York

September 09, 1992|By New York Times News Service

NEW YORK -- Like straphangers elbowing their way into a subway car at rush hour, the executives at Earle Palmer Brown are looking to carve out a larger space in the overcrowded New York market.

To help accomplish that, the midsize agency, based in Bethesda, is reorganizing its Manhattan office, replacing two top executives with outsiders -- one with expertise in advertising, the other in public relations.

One arrival is Linda J. Srere, 37, who for two years has been president at Rosenfeld, Sirowitz, Humphrey & Strauss Advertising in New York. She will become chairwoman at Earle Palmer Brown/New York.

The other newcomer, Bill Southard, 35, becomes president. For the past four years he has been executive vice president and general manager of the New York operations at Dorf & Stanton Communications, a public relations firm.

Earle Palmer Brown, which opened its New York office in spring 1989, is one of several agencies reconfiguring operations in New York or pondering doing so amid an industrywide slump.

"Yes, there has been some movement away from New York," Jeb Brown, chief executive at the parent Earle Palmer Brown, said yesterday in an interview in midtown Manhattan. "But people who say, 'Woe is me for New York' are overlooking great strength here.

"Unless you're a player in New York," he added, "you can't be a national factor in advertising or public relations."

The change in management teams follows the announcement in June of a merger of Earle Palmer Brown's New York office with Bergelt Litchfield Inc., a small shop with a reputation for creative work for clients like the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The merger, which will create a 60-person office with billings around $65 million, is expected to be completed in the next couple of weeks, Mr. Brown said.

"We saw an opportunity to attract some good people and some good clients," he said. "And besides, our lease was expiring."

The Earle Palmer Brown/New York office has moved into what had been Bergelt Litchfield's office space.

As the turnstile spins in the executive suite, it affects Jane Maas, chairwoman of Earle Palmer Brown/New York, and David H. Venghaus, chairman and chief executive at Bergelt Litchfield. Mr. Brown said Ms. Maas would take the new position of chairwoman emeritus, working on strategic planning and business development, while Mr. Venghaus would be a consultant.

Cary Lemkowitz, who was president and executive creative director at Bergelt Litchfield, becomes vice chairman and chief creative officer at Earle Palmer Brown/New York.

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