CBS unveiled a new ad-sales unit, CBS Eye Max,” that will be devoted to striking branded-entertainment partnerships and other types of advertising innovations with sponsors. It will be led by Linda René, executive vice president of primetime sales and innovation, who will continue to oversee primetime sales for CBS.
“We are constantly pushing to elevate the level of creativity for clients and audiences, and we are always looking to do more and more outside of the box,” said Ross, in a prepared statement. “’CBS Eye Max’ combines the creativity and expertise of our branded integration daypart leaders, under a proven innovator like Linda, and is designed to maximize the clients’ relationship with CBS and to maximize their reach, effectiveness and investment.” The team is expected to identify and develop opportunities across CBS’ broadcast network and digital properites and work closely with programming executives at the network and studios, showrunners and clients.
The company’s announcement comes just a few weeks before the start of TV’s annual “upfront” sales season, during which the U.S. TV networks try to sell the bulk of their advertising inventory for the coming program cycle.
Antoinette Clarke, vice president, branded entertainment and media innovation, CBS Daytime; Cristin DeVries, vice president, branded entertainment and media innovation, CBS Primetime; and Despina Legakis, director, branded entertainment and media innovation, CBS Late Night,, will form the new team. In addition to working with René to create new cross-network and cross-platform synergies for branded entertainment partnerships, the three executives will also continue to manage existing integration responsibilities within their respective dayparts.
“There is a world of opportunity for branded and custom content across the CBS Television Network and our digital properties.,” said René in a statement. “I look forward to collaborating with Antoinette, Cristin and Despina, our clients and the creative community to bring many more new, fresh and innovative ideas to life in ways that will make people take notice, while also bringing incremental dollars to the table.”
René was named to her current role in December 201, and has risen through the network’s ad-sales ranks. Prior to joining CBS, René was with Doyle Dane Bernbach West for four years, starting as a planning assistant and working her way up to Director of Media Planning on the Universal Pictures account and account executive on the CBS account.
Clarke was named to her role in January of 2014, and joined the network in 2012. Prior to joining CBS, Clarke was the director of broadcast sales integrations with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. She worked as a producer for 12 years, for CBS Paramount domestic television, Telepictures Production and Sony Pictures Television and Harpo.
DeVries joined the CBS Network Sales Group in 2007 as Director, branded entertainment and media innovations, and in 2014 was promoted to her current role. Prior to that, she worked for CBS in promotion marketing.
Legakis joined the CBS Network Sales group in 2015 as director, branded entertainment and media innovations for News & Late Night. Between 2006 and 2015, she served as director of CBS Promotion Marketing and helped lead management and execution of integrations into “Survivor,” a role she continues to maintain. Prior to CBS, she spent six years as a marketing manager, then senior marketing manager at Entertainment Weekly magazine.