NBCU Combines Broadcast With Cable in Sales Lineup

NBCUniversal unveiled on Tuesday a new sales structure that reorganizes its assets, including clustering the NBC broadcast network with its mass reach entertainment cable networks.

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. NBC's primetime 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 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."

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.

Dan Lovinger, who had been responsible for sales of some of NBCU's cable networks and Spanish-language properties previously, has been promoted to executive VP and will be head of the Entertainment group, which includes the large reach networks including NBC, USA, Syfy, and WWE.  Among those reporting to Lovinger is Jim Hoffman, who has been in charge of NBC broadcast sales. Shari Post, head of primetime sales, daytime and late night for NBC continues to report to Hoffman.

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, who had been in charge of sales for NBC Sports Group, has been promoted to executive VP and will be in charge of the Live Programming group, which includes sports and the NBC News Group. Reporting to him will be Mark Miller, who heads news sales.

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.,
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.

Alison Tarrant was promoted to executive VP of the Client Solutions Group and will oversee all sales marketing for NBCUs networks and properties, integrating the networks' sales marketing teams into the client solution group.  Tarrant reports to Yaccarino.

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

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.