Top Sales Executives: Broadcast and More

Top row (l. to r.): Rita Ferro, Disney/ABC Television Group; Joe Marchese,  Fox Networks Group; Tonia O'Connor, Univision. Bottom row (l. to r.): Jo Ann Ross, CBS; Rob Tuck, The CW; Linda Yaccarino, NBCU

Top row (l. to r.): Rita Ferro, Disney/ABC Television Group; Joe Marchese,  Fox Networks Group; Tonia O'Connor, Univision. Bottom row (l. to r.): Jo Ann Ross, CBS; Rob Tuck, The CW; Linda Yaccarino, NBCU

Rita Ferro

Title: President, Ad Sales, Disney/ABC Television Group
Broadcast Network: ABC
2017 Upfront Sales: $2.1 billion.
Outlook: America’s Network is using a “Forward Together” theme to reinforce that Ferro’s team has a portfolio that includes ABC, Freeform and the Disney Media kids business. But with the “Disney Difference,” it can include other Disney units, from films to theme parks, in campaigns. Disney also just announced the launch of Luminate, a suite of advanced advertising products that will be used by both the Disney/ABC networks and by ESPN.

Joe Marchese

Title: President, Advertising Revenue, Fox Networks Group
Broadcast Network: Fox
2017 Upfront Sales: $1.6 billion
Outlook: Marchese is looking to innovate the heck out of the TV ad business. He said his goal was to get Fox’s ad load down to two minutes per hour by 2020. The first place he’s targeting is Sunday night, when each commercial pod will have just two 30-second spots. How much will advertisers pay for that uncluttered environment? We’ll see. Marchese is also pushing six-second ads, which seem to fit particularly well in live sports.

Tonia O’Connor

Title: Chief Revenue Officer, Univision Communications
Broadcast Networks: Univision, UniMás
2017 Upfront Sales: Not available
Outlook: With Telemundo hot on its heels, Univision is rolling out a number of new initiatives in time for this year’s upfront. Univision this month unveiled Aperture, a suit of data-driven advertising products that include precision targeting, a selfserve campaign builder and Campaign Impact, which help evaluate a media buy’s effectiveness. Aperture also features Fokal, an analytic firm that helps drive results across data sets. To reach younger viewers, Univision has made deals to produce projects with Snapchat, Facebook Watch and PopSugar.

The 2018 Upfront: Sales Execs Claim Strong Hand Going Into Upfront | Buyers Want Better Measurement, But Will Use Old Metrics in Upfront | Levy Wants 5% of TV Ad Budgets Spent on Audiences | The CW Brings a New Night to the Market | Pitching Hispanic Buying Power | Broadcast Networks Take Center Stage

Jo Ann Ross

Title: President and Chief Advertising Revenue Officer, CBS
Broadcast Network: CBS
2017 Upfront Sales: $2.5 billion
Outlook: Never better, according to CBS’s ebullient chairman and CEO Les Moonves. No longer stodgy, CBS has been a pioneer in the over-the-top and subscription businesses and Ross said advertisers are interested in CBS All Access, CBSN and CBS Sports HQ. Last year, Ross added digital sales to her portfolio, with former Facebook exec David Lawenda, now executive VP of digital sales and strategy, reporting to her. CBS has also set up CBS Eye Max, a unit devoted to ad innovation and creating branded entertainment with clients.

Rob Tuck

Title: Executive VP, National Sales, The CW
Broadcast Network: The CW
2017 Upfront Sales: } $500 million
Outlook: The CW is an early adopter in monetizing digital viewership, a key for a network that attracts young (for broadcast) viewers. Its convergence sell has been copied by other broadcasters to capture eyeballs glued to mobile phones, iPads and other connected devices. This year adds a new night of primetime programming (see related story), creating the opportunity to generate more advertising revenue.

Linda Yaccarino

Title: Chairman, Advertising Sales and Client Partnerships, NBCUniversal
Broadcast Networks: NBC, Telemundo
2017 Upfront Sales: $6.5 billion*
Outlook: NBCUniversal will kick off Upfront Week on May 14 with a presentation that covers its entire portfolio of broadcast, cable and digital opportunities for advertisers. Yaccarino has been pushing an advanced advertising agenda and this year helped give the audience buying business a boost by joining Fox, Turner and Viacom in the OpenAP consortium. NBCU also launched CFlight, a new metric that measures on air and online impressions. * NBCU upfront revenue across broadcast and cable.