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Viacom Restructures Ad Sales For Cable TV Networks

Media conglom aims to sell more than just TV ads at its cable-TV operations

Viacom became the latest big media conglomerate to restructure its ad sales in an effort to facilitate the purchase of advertising inventory across various types of media – video, mobile and digital.

The company, which operates MTV, Comedy Central and other networks, said going forward, a single ad-sales team would deal with advertisers.  The group will handle  all sales and integrated marketing for linear and digital assets across CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Logo, Spike TV, TV Land and VH1.

“The lines among television, online and mobile aren’t just blurring – they’ve been erased in terms of how our audiences consume and experience content,” said Jeff Lucas, head of sales for music and entertainment, in a prepared statement.  “For a client-centric organization like ours, a convergent structure will keep us on the leading edge of marketing innovation and ensure that we continue to create value for advertisers and audiences alike.”

Under the new structure, the groups former senior veeps of digital ad sales will take on new roles:

Music and Entertainment team’s former Senior Vice Presidents of Digital Ad Sales will take on new leadership role .

Melanie Dimemmo will serve as senior veep of digital video sales, focusing on video deals across the TV networks.  She will report dually to Neil Holt and Sean Moran, executive veeps of ad sales.

Sarah Iooss will serve as senior veep of partnerships and client strategy, a role in which she’ll be responsible for identifying partnerships with content and platform technology companies.  She will report to Elizabeth Herbst-Brady, exec veep of ad sales strategy.

Sharon Silverstein will serve as senior veep of multiplatform studio ad sales, leading the team focused on the company’s studio clients out of Los Angeles.  Silverstein will continue to report to Steve Agase, senior veep of ad sales, west coast.

Viacom’s move follows one made by NBCUniversal in October in which the company reorganized its ad sales staff to sell along demographic and audience-behavior trends, rather than by a single type of media or specific network. Disney’s ESPN has long organized itself around particular advertiser categories, rather than simply selling TV ads or print. The goal is to get advertisers to buy more inventory at a time when more marketers are placing more emphasis on new types of marketing that involves digital techniques and mobile devices

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