TVBizwire

NBCU Shakes Up Sales Division, Combines Cable and Broadcast B&C

NBCUniversal today rolled out a new structure for its sales division that places an emphasis on combining sales for its wide-ranging assets, including the NBC broadcast network, B&C reports.

"Linda Yaccarino, who was named president of sales for all of NBCUniversal in September 2012, emphasized selling NBCU's broadcast, cable and digital assets as a unified portfolio during the 2013-14 upfront, a strategy that was largely praised by agency buyers and clients," the story reports. "NBC's prime-time sales in the upfront gained 13%. The new organization is designed to push that approach further, with an expanded Client Solutions Group that will help create marketing and sponsorship programs for advertisers."

In a statement, Yaccarino said: "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. 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."

B&C adds: "Yaccarino has created four groups of programming assets: Entertainment, Live Programming, Lifestyle and Digital Video. Each group is headed by an executive VP who reports directly to Yaccarino, whose sales group reports directly and independently to NBCU CEO Steve Burke."

The Entertainment group will be led by Dan Lovinger, who was promoted to executive VP. He was previously responsible for sales of Spanish-language properties and some NBCU cable nets. His new group includes the large-reach networks, such as NBC, USA, Syfy and WWE, the piece notes.

"Among those reporting to Lovinger is Jim Hoffman, who has been in charge of NBC broadcast sales," the report notes. "Shari Post, head of prime-time sales, daytime and late-night for NBC, continues to report to Hoffman."

The piece adds: "Combining NBC and cable networks in a group makes NBCU's approach different from other media companies. Before joining NBC, Yaccarino spent most of her career at Turner Broadcasting, which aimed to convince advertisers to shift money from broadcast to cable."

Seth Winter received a promotion to executive VP and will head the Live Programming group, which includes sports and news. He previously was in charge of sales for NBC Sports Group. Mark Miller, who leads news sales, will report to Winter.

"Laura Molen, who had been responsible for some ad sales for some of the cable networks, has been promoted to executive VP and will be in charge of the Lifestyle group, which includes Bravo, Oxygen, E!, Esquire, Cloo and Chiller," the report adds. "Scott Schiller expands his role as executive VP, digital ad sales to oversee NBC News Group's digital sales on an interim basis, as well as Digital Entertainment ad sales."

Promoted to executive VP of the Client Solutions Group was Alison Tarrant, who reports to Yaccarino. Tarrant will lead sales marketing for NBCU networks and properties, overseeing the integration of the networks' sales marketing teams into the Client Solutions Group, the report notes.

"Working with the Client Solutions Group, John Shea continues as chief marketing officer," the report adds. "Shea leads a new content innovation and creative marketing team."