CBS, Fox streamlining ad sales divisions

Mel Karmazin and Rupert Murdoch are on the same wavelength when it comes to advertising sales.

CBS and Fox Family Worldwide are trying to make it easier for advertisers to spend money by streamlining their respective ad sales divisions. The goal is to encourage advertisers to commit more dollars to CBS and Fox Family by offering one-stop shopping for broadcast TV, cable, radio, print, online and outdoor ad buys.

On Thursday, the Eye unveiled its CBS Plus sales unit, which will design marketing campaigns for big-ticket advertisers to unfurl across CBS’ TV, radio, new media and outdoor advertising holdings.

Kiddies united

Late last month, Fox Family Worldwide combined the ad sales functions of all its kidvid entities, formally putting the responsibility for sales of the Fox Kids broadcast slate under the same roof as the new Fox Family cabler. The fledgling Fox Family radio network and magazine are also under the new umbrella.

The push for combo ad sales underscores the breadth of the media properties controlled by once-traditional broadcasting companies like CBS. Eye web execs said the idea for CBS Plus was born out of a multimillion-dollar, cross-company advertising deal CBS struck with Pennzoil in August.

“CBS has the best collection of media assets in the world,” said CBS topper Karmazin. “In offering the total range of those assets to advertisers, we are simply exploring an idea whose time has come for both CBS and for companies seeking strong brand awareness in this crowded media landscape.”

Apfelbaum at top of tree

The CBS Plus unit will be headed by Bill Apfelbaum, prexy and CEO of TDI, the billboard company owned by CBS.

At Fox Family, ad sales for cable and broadcast kidvid programming have been consolidated under Fox Family ad sales prexy Rick Sirvaitis. “This new structure will help our marketing partners plan multimedia kids ad campaigns with one Fox team,” said Rich Cronin, prexy and CEO of Fox Family Channel.

Media biz observers say the consolidated ad sales trend is here to stay for media behemoths. Back in May, radio giant Chancellor Media Corp. formed Chancellor Marketing Group to meld some of the functions of its radio and TV ad sales operations.

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