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Rainbow Nets Hire MTVN's Benfield to Sales Post

IFC and Sundance Channel have expanded their Partnership Sales group, adding a new key senior executive and two new positions.

Vanessa Benfield has been named senior vice president of partnership sales & integrated solutions; Tony Song has been named to the new position of VP of sales & partnerships, East Coast; and Ilene Danuff joins as VP of branded content & integrated solutions, also a new position.

Benfield reports to Alan Klein, executive vice president of partnerships & operations; Song and Danuff report to Benfield.

Benfield will oversee Rainbow Media Holdings'  IFC and Sundance Channel's branded content initiatives, manage the integrated sales teams representing the networks' on-air, online and video on demand platforms, and work with marketers to develop and create innovative partnerships for IFC and Sundance Channel.

She joins from MTV Networks Entertainment Group, where she was most recently vice president, east coast sales, overseeing a sales team responsible for Comedy Central, Spike, TV Land and CMT.

Song was previously director of East Coast national media sales for BET Networks where he managed a sales team responsible for creating and implementing integrated marketing initiatives across BET's suite of multiplatform assets. Danuff was most recently the marketing and creative services director for Plum Television where she developed highly customized, branded content solutions for clients.

"Vanessa's strong background in the agency, television and online arenas make her a perfect fit for this position. IFC and Sundance Channel pioneered the branded content space and continue to offer sponsors seamless multi-platform brand integration with these premiere independent media brands," Klein said in a release. "Vanessa will play a key role in developing and delivering our upfront and ongoing sales strategies allowing sponsors to tap into the highly desirable audiences of IFC and Sundance Channel.

Earlier, Benfield ran East Coast sales for National Cinemedia and before that was senior vice president of sales for iVillage. She has also held sales positions at Universal Music, Comedy Central, E! Entertainment, the Cable Television Advertising Bureau, and at agencies Saatchi & Saatchi and J. Walter Thompson, where she began her career.

Song will oversee the NY-based sales team, directing all outreach to east coast agencies and clients. He will also serve as one of two key strategists directing the day-to-day operations of the department, reporting to Benfield. Lee Sparer, vice president of partnerships, west coast, will continue to oversee the LA-based sales team along with all west coast sponsorship business.

Ilene Danuff, in her newly created position, will help generate sales revenue by developing new branded content packages for clients that seamlessly marry the IFC and Sundance Channel brands and programming with those of sponsors across multiple platforms: on-air, online, video on demand, and off-air events.