ABC promotes Benson, Provencio

ABC Entertainment has upped chief hypesters Michael Benson and Marla Provencio to exec VPs of marketing.

Duo will continue to share oversight of all on- and off-air marketing and promotion for the Alphabet’s primetime and latenight programming, as well as the overall brand positioning of the network. They report to ABC Entertainment prexy Steve McPherson, who announced the promotions Monday.

Working with McPherson, Benson and Provencio conceived and executed ABC’s hugely successful 2004 launch campaigns for “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost,” as well as campaigns for “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Ugly Betty” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” In 2005, Ad Age named the pair entertainment marketers of the year.

“This is a well-deserved promotion for Mike and Marla,” McPherson said, crediting the execs with having “played a significant role in making ‘Ugly Betty’ the most-watched new comedy of the season.”

Benson and Provencio, who had previously been senior VPs, are both long-time Alphabet staffers.

Provencio has been with the net since 1979 , starting out as a production coordinator in on-air promotion. She’s held several posts at ABC, working on daytime and kiddie programming and serving as VP of on-air creative for drama and longform.

Benson — who’s also chairman of the Promax/BDA board of directors and a marketing professor at Boston U. — joined ABC in 1998, having previously been senior VP of promotion and program planning for VH1/MTV. He helped launch VH1 signature skeins such as “Behind the Music” and “Storytellers.”

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