MTV combining sales teams

Viacom unit to change way it sells ads

MTV Networks is changing its approach to selling ads.

Viacom unit is combining its sales teams so that reps sell on behalf of all nets, but to specific demos.

Instead of separate teams selling, for instance, MTV and Comedy Central, one team will rep all those nets to advertisers seeking to reach, say, teenagers.

Other two demos the company has created are “kids and family” and, somewhat comically, “men and adults.”

Reps for the company said the change was not tied to recent staff reductions but to a more logical, and increasingly popular, way of selling ads.

Still, it is believed the ad structure will require fewer staffers.

And one of the goals of the staff reductions was to centralize functions; the shuffle will bring the ad operations of all the nets closer together.

Also on Wednesday, MTV said it will unwind its large broadcast-style upfront in which all MTV Networks besides Nickelodeon — which includes Comedy Central, Spike, VH1 and MTV — presented to advertisers in a big Gotham event.

Instead it will throw a number of smaller roadshows and events at various points throughout the year. Among them is a spring programming roadshow and marketing summits in the fall.

Company also announced a number of tweaks to the way MTV Networks deals with cable operators.

Affiliate sales teams for MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and other nets in the MTVN family will handle all digital and non-linear platforms, which had previously been done more informally by the group.

Reps will also no longer be divided by region but by clients, and will all come under the name of “content distribution and marketing.”

New brand is a clear attempt to emphasize distribution beyond television, which has become a growing priority for the cable-heavy Viacom.

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