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Eye-catching Discovery hire

McGraw named exec VP of advertising sales

Former CBS ad man Joe Abruzzese, who took the reins of Discovery Networks’ U.S. ad sales operation last month, has brought his Eye colleague Scott McGraw into the Discovery fold.

McGraw, who had been exec VP of network sports sales and marketing at CBS Television, will serve as exec VP of advertising sales for Discovery Networks U.S., reporting to Abruzzese.

Move is part of a restructuring of the ad sales department — which services all 14 Discovery channels in the U.S. — that is due to be completed by the end of the year, a Discovery spokeswoman said.

McGraw is expected to be Abruzzese’s only hire from CBS. Bill McGowan, the existing exec VP of ad sales for Discovery Networks U.S., will work with Abruzzese and McGraw to reconfigure the department.

Discovery’s ad sales team is not going to go through “sweeping changes,” but rather the top execs will work to “clean things up” a bit, the spokeswoman said.

McGraw was upped to his most recent post at CBS a year ago. From 1996-2001, he served as senior VP of network sports sales for CBS Television. He joined CBS in 1980.

When Abruzzese took the role of president of advertising sales for Discovery Networks U.S. — after serving as head of sales at CBS for 11 years — it was considered one of the highest-visibility defections ever of a broadcast salesman to cable (Daily Variety, Oct. 16).

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