NBCUniversal is reorganizing its ad sales division around content areas -- entertainment, live programming, lifestyle and digital video -- the company said Tuesday. The new structure also will unite the sales and marketing teams under a client solutions group.
The move comes on the heels of NBCUniversal's first upfront selling season with broadcast, cable and digital properties united under one umbrella that was spearheaded by NBCUni ad sales president Linda Yaccarino, the former Turner ad sales exec tapped by NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke to integrate the company's sales efforts. The new structure is designed to further address the changing needs of media buyers in a multiplatform, on-demand content universe.
“In an effort to maximize the power and potential of our portfolio, now we are putting in place the strategic leaders who will continue to position us for growth and provide opportunities for our customers like no other media company can,” Yaccarino said in a statement. “In a world of growing fragmentation and as scale has become more and more elusive, we’ve clustered our networks to capitalize on the strength of our assets. Also, I’m excited to expand our creative marketing offerings by developing a new center of marketing excellence and innovation for our clients.”
The reorganization means that several executive vps in the ad sales unit will be taking on expanded roles, while they will continue to report to Yaccarino. Dan Lovinger will oversee the ad sales entertainment group with oversight of the combined advertising sales for NBC, USA, Syfy and WWE. Seth Winter will oversee live programming ad sales, which includes news and sports. Laura Molen will oversee the ad sales lifestyle group, leading sales for Bravo, Oxygen, E!, Esquire, Cloo and Chiller. Scott Schiller will expand his role to include digital ad sales with oversight of the NBC News Group’s digital ad sales on an interim basis as well as digital entertainment ad sales. And Alison Tarrant will head up the client solutions group.
Yaccarino and her sales team touted the one-stop-shopping advantage during at NBCUniversal – which includes 17 cable networks and more than 50 digital properties including Fandango and DailyCandy – at the upfront selling bonanza last spring. The bundled approach meant that NBC did not finish writing most of its upfront deals until the end of July; networks typically conclude dealmaking by the July 4 weekend. But the broadcast network secured $2.1 billion in upfront commitments on a little more than 80 percent of its fall inventory, a 20 percent year-over-year increase with CPM (cost per thousand viewers) increases in the 7 to 8 percent range. NBC is the No. 1 network for the first three weeks of the new season among adults 18-49, the demographic most sought by advertisers. That performance is once again due in no small part to the strength of The Voice and Sunday Night Football, while the network's new series have been a mixed bag.