Streamlining sales

ABC integrates units to offer one-stop shopping

ABC is trying to make it easier for advertisers to spend money by creating “ABC Unlimited,” an integrated sales and market unit that will offer one-stop shopping for broadcast TV, cable, syndication, local, online, radio, print and outdoor ad buys.

“The entire network sales and marketing forces are being empowered to look beyond their specific areas,” said ABC Television Network prexy Alex Wallau. “We want to customize plans for clients to enable them to take full advantage of the vast array of Walt Disney Co. assets.”

Heading the new division is Mike Shaw, formerly exec VP-national sales manager for ABC, who has been promoted to president, sales and marketing, of the ABC Television Network. Shaw replaces Marvin Goldsmith, who has been named executive VP of the ABC Broadcast Group. Shaw, who will also oversee the net’s marketing department, will report to Wallau.

Goldsmith will now consult on sales strategies for the ABC Broadcast Group, reporting to group prexy Bob Callahan.

Also promoted as part of the restructuring are Laura Nathanson, who has been upped to executive VP and national sales manager; Bill Bund, who has been appointed senior VP of the integrated sales group; and Dan Longest, who has been named senior VP of integrated marketing and promotion. All three will report to Shaw.

ABC has also committed itself to a major expansion of its executive and support staff, with approximately 50 employees to be added to the sales and marketing departments.

Focus on long-term ties

Wallau said he hopes the new approach to sales and marketing will help the net “get away from the upfront negotiating model” and instead, focus on long-term relationships with clients. “This is a model that will allow both us and our advertisers to prosper,” said Wallau. Specifically, Wallau would like to tap into bigger shares of existing media budgets, go after promotional budgets and land new business.

ABC Sales brought in record advertising revenue (estimated at $2.3 billion) during the 2000 upfront, posting the most dollars for any web in the history of the television industry, according to ABC.

The Alphabet net is not the first network to create an integrated sales unit. In November 1998, CBS and Fox Family Worldwide streamlined their respective ad sales divisions.

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