Saturday, February 13, 2016

Tierney buys ad shop, starts PR firm

Tierney buys RealTime with backing from NewSpring

Tierney buys ad shop, starts PR firm


Brian P. Tierney, publisher of the Inquirer before creditors took it over in bankruptcy proceedings this past summer, says he's bought "digital marketing services" provider RealTime Media Inc., King of Prussia, with backing from Michael DiPiano's NewSpring Capital, Radnor, a previous investor in RealTime.

Tierney won't say what he paid for RealTime, a 17-year-old firm which employs 25 and claims CNN, Toys R Us, Comcast Interactive and AOL as clients for its online polling and other services. RealTime ceo Bill Reilly "will become a consultant," Tierney told me.

The former newspaper baron says he's hired a couple of loyalists: Ryan Davis, who Tierney hired to run Philadelphia Media website, and Ed Mahlman, a former Pennsylvania Lottery director who Tierney had hired as head of Philadelphia Media marketing.

Tierney says he's also started a new PR agency, Brian Public Relations. He formerly headed Tierney Communications, now part of Interpublic Group.

NewSpring was among the advisers to Tierney's former company, Philadelphia Media Holdings, in its 2006 acquisition of the paper and its affiliates. Tierney met DiPiano when both invested in diet-food purveyor NutriSystems in the mid-2000s.

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PhillyDeals posts interviews, drafts and updates that Joseph N. DiStefano writes alongside his Sunday and Monday columns and ongoing articles about Philadelphia-area business.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn. He taught writing and research at St. Joe’s. He has written for the Inquirer since 1989, except when he left a few times to work at Bloomberg and elsewhere. He wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six kids with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at, 215.854.5194, @PhillyJoeD. Read his blog posts at and his Inquirer columns at Bloomberg posts his items at NH BLG_PHILLYDEAL.

Reach Joseph N. at or 215 854 5194.

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