NBCUniversal is shaking up its ad sales and partnerships division, creating a new organizational structure to better account for the declining linear TV environment and a booming streaming ad market. The new structure will combine brand and agency teams, and build infrastructure to bring in small and medium-sized businesses that have traditionally been priced out of TV, but have spent heavily on platforms like Facebook and Google.
The changes include new or reworked roles for a variety of top executives, including Maggy Chan, who joined from the BBC last month and will oversee global ad sales and partnerships; Mark Marshall, who will lead a centralized national sales team; Frank Comerford, who will lead local ad strategy; and Dan Lovinger, who leads a sales team dedicated to the Olympics. Meanwhile, Tom Winiarski’s team will be tasked with bridging linear and digital inventory, while Krishan Bhatia, who will oversee the company’s One Platform technology stack. Josh Feldman, who had been CMO of the division, will oversee the ad sales division’s events (like the upfronts, One23, Cannes appearances) as well as product innovations like shoppable ads.
Perhaps most notable is the push by NBCUniversal’s division to take on Google and Meta in chasing smaller-dollar deals. They are creating an “SMB Growth Team” specifically to pursue those types of partners, and are looking for someone to lead that team. This team will work alongside Mark Marshall and be completely focused on creating more resources so every sized business can advertise alongside the best content in the world.
The NBCUniversal shake up is the latest in a line of changes across the ad sales business over the past year. NBCUniversal is part of a consortium that includes Paramount and Warner Bros. Discovery that plans to pool streaming viewership data to help facilitate the launch of multiple currencies for the 2024 upfront. Other companies have been reorganizing as well, with Warner Bros. Discovery restructured under ad sales chief Jon Steinlauf, and Paramount’s John Halley taking over the ad sales division. Disney is expected to see a shake up of its own in the coming weeks, and Netflix has jumped into the ad space with a splash, planning an upfront presentation, and poaching pair of high-profile Snap execs to lead their sales division.
NBCUniversal is the latest media and entertainment company to make changes to its organizational structure in an effort to better account for the changing TV and streaming ad market. With Disney+’s new ad-supported tier a top priority, streaming is likely only to take more of a center stage in the coming weeks.