DirecTV Names Amy Leifer To Head New Ad Sales Unit

Amy Leifer DirecTV
Amy Leifer (Image credit: DirecTV)

DirecTV, spun off last year from AT&T, is setting up a new, independent advertising sales team headed by Amy Leifer, chief advertising sales officer, effective Friday.

After it was acquired by AT&T, DirecTV’s ad sales were sold first through AT&T’s Xandr advanced advertising unit, then by WarnerMedia, which is also in the process of being spun off and sold.

The new unit -- DirecTV Advertising -- is launching with a staff of about 400 people and a focus on helping advertisers reach target audiences within the DirecTV and DirecTV Stream footprint, Leifer told Broadcasting+Cable.

Leifer reports directly to DirecTV CEO Bill Morrow.

“With more than 25 years of experience in media, Amy possesses a unique understanding of the advertising marketplace,” said Morrow. “Her expertise in sales, operations, and technology makes her the strategic choice to shape the present and future landscape of omnichannel advertising.” 

Leifer originally joined DirecTV as VP of national sales in 2011. Since DirecTV was acquired, she also has held jobs at a number of AT&T units, but her responsibilities remained connected to DirecTV ad sales, giving her a big leg up in her new job.

She was senior VP, sales, planning and operations for AT&T, executive VP for operations and services at Xandr and, most recently, executive VP, president, planning and operations form WarnerMedia.

Leifer said that since January the team that sells advertising on DirecTV has been rolling up to her and that the last few months have been spent separating that team from WarnerMedia and reassembling them at DirecTV.

Starting Friday Leifer and the team will be reintroducing themselves to advertisers and media buyers as the upfront market approaches.

“Advertisers want to work with a partner that can help them reach their target across all screens. That’s what we do. We help them address their audience, that audience is highly engaged alongside content they love and we measure the impact of that,” she said.

DirecTV began offering addressable advertising in 2012 and advertiser interest has been growing as more distributors and networks have been drawn into the space.

“We’re not promising something we don’t have. This is something we’ve always done and we’re going to continue to lead the market,” Leifer said. DirecTV will focus on its own platforms, but will work with clients looking to create campaigns that reach more of the market, she said.

DirecTV has taken the data about its subscribers with it, enabling it to match its viewers with advertisers' own data. “We have over 30 data partners and so whether advertisers want to use first-party, third party or our data, we can help them do that,” Leifer said.

At a time when pay TV operators like DirecTV are losing subscribers DirecTV Stream offers DirecTV a way to help advertisers reach cord-cutters and a converged media product to sell.

“We can basically give them that unduplicated reach in one convergent sell against their advanced audience segment and deliver those outcomes across both DirecTV and DirecTV Stream,” she said. “The satellite business is still really important to us, but I think Stream is where the future is.” ■ 

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.