Former Advanstar CEO Named Head of VNU Business Media USA

New York -- Publishing and trade show veteran Robert Krakoff has been named chief executive of VNU Business Media USA, one of the country's largest trade show producers.

The former Advanstar chairman and CEO succeeds Michael Marchesano, who was named to the new position of executive vice president and chief transformation officer of VNU Group, the parent company of VNU Business Media USA.

"Bob Krakoff brings an outstanding track record of leadership and vast experience in the publishing and media industries to his new role," Rob Ruijter, chief financial officer and interim CEO of VNU Group, said Tuesday in announcing the executive changes.

In addition to heading Advanstar Inc. from 1996 to 2004, Krakoff served as vice chairman of Reed Elsevier USA during his 23 years at parent company Reed Elsevier, another major media company. Most recently, he served as chairman and CEO of Blantyre Partners Inc., a media industry consulting firm.

In his new position, Marchesano heads VNU Group's Project Forward, which is designed to further reduce costs and enhance margins at the market research and information company.

Marchesano joined VNU in August 1999 as president of Bill Communications. In June 2001, he was named president and CEO of VNU Business Media USA. Prior to joining VNU, Marchesano spent 22 years with BPA International, the primary global auditor of business publications, rising to the position of president and CEO in 1994.

VNU Business Media USA produces some 70 conferences and 65 trade shows annually, publishes 45 business publications, and operates 165 websites and electronic newsletters combined. The company owns MiMegasite as well as the meetings industry-related publications, MeetingNews, Successful Meetings, Incentive, and Presentations.

VNU Group, which also owns ACNielsen and Nielsen Media Research, operates in more than 100 countries with nearly 41,000 employees. The company was acquired in June by a group of private investment firms.