NBCUniversal is the latest media and entertainment company to restructure its organization in response to a declining linear TV environment and a booming streaming ad market.
On Tuesday, Linda Yaccarino, head of ad sales and partnerships at NBCUniversal, outlined a new structure that would combine brand and agency teams and build the infrastructure to try to bring in mid-market players that have traditionally been overpriced for television but already heavily invested. Small businesses are on platforms like Facebook and Google.
The changes include new or redesigned roles for various top management, including Maggy Chan, who joined from the BBC last month to lead global advertising sales and partnerships; Mark Marshall, who will lead a centralized national sales team; Frank Comerford, who will lead local advertising strategy; and Dan Lovinger, who will lead a sales team dedicated to the Olympics.
Meanwhile, Tom Winiarski’s team will be responsible for bridging linear and digital inventory, while Krishan Bhatia will oversee the company’s One Platform technology stack. Josh Feldman, formerly the division’s chief marketing officer, will oversee ad sales activities such as Upfront, One23, and Cannes appearances, as well as product innovations such as shoppable ads.
Perhaps most notably, Yaccarino’s division has pushed to compete with Google and Meta for small deals.
Yaccarino wrote that the company is creating an “SMB Growth Team” specifically to seek out these types of partners and is looking for someone to lead that team.
“This team will be working alongside Mark Marshall and fully focused on creating more resources so businesses of every size can advertise next to the best content in the world,” Yaccarino wrote.
The new SMB team will be established according to the plan that Bhatia discussed with him hollywood reporter Late last year, Peacock planned to launch a self-service advertising platform for small marketers this year.
“Television used to be the domain of about 1,000 to 2,000 marketers,” Bhatia said threonine then. “We have a whole ecosystem of other marketers who are direct-to-consumer brands, e-commerce brands, performance marketers, local businesses who buy media because they obviously need to drive their business, but they do it differently. They need a lower entry point. They need more self-serving tools and capabilities.”
NBCUniversal’s reorganization is the latest in a series of changes to its ad sales business over the past year.
NBCUniversal is part of a consortium that includes Paramount and Warner Bros. Discovery plans to pool streaming viewership data to help facilitate the launch of multiple currencies in early 2024.
Other companies have also been restructuring.
Warner Bros. Discovery was restructured under the leadership of advertising sales chief Jon Steinlauf, who merged the original Discovery and WarnerMedia teams to focus on linear TV and streaming products such as HBO Max.
At Paramount, John Halley took over ad sales, promising to combine linear properties like CBS with streaming businesses like Pluto and Paramount+.
Disney is expected to restructure in the coming weeks as CEO Bob Iger effectively disbands the DMED division. It’s unclear how the ad sales and partnerships teams will be restructured.
But with Disney+’s new ad-supported tier taking center stage, streaming may only take more center stage at the company.
Of course, Netflix has moved quickly into the advertising space, planning an early rollout and poaching a pair of high-profile Snap execs to lead their sales department.