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Disney Makes Additional Changes to Ad Sales

Walt Disney Co. further realigned its ad sales efforts, noting that it would work to position its sales teams to have “a deeper level of advisory relationships with marketers” as Madison Avenue increasingly puts new emphasis on all forms of video, not just TV, as a means of reaching consumers.

Disney earlier this month combined ESPN and ABC ad sales for the first time, naming Rita Ferro to oversee all outreach to marketers. She will oversee efforts to win ad support for the company’s entertainment, sports, news and kids linear and digital TV and radio businesses  – giving her oversight of everything from TV ads on ABC to video and banner units on ESPN Mobile.

“Combining world class sales teams from across the company will result in a more efficient and effective way for our clients to do business with us. Further, our focus on deeper, data-driven understanding of our clients’ businesses and media strategies will enable us to continue helping our clients maximize the value of their marketing spend and grow their businesses through our robust portfolio of platforms,” said Ferro, president of Disney ad sales, in a statement. “I am confident that our renewed vision and the resulting structure positions our current offerings for maximum growth as our business and the marketplace continue to evolve.

Ferro said ad sales will be led by six senior vice presidents, each reporting to her. Patricia Betron, Marco Forte, Flora McKiernan, Andrew Messina, Wendell Scott, and Jeremiah Tachna will  manage account teams organized under specific industry verticals, as well as dedicated agency teams.  Adam Monaco will oversee national TV sales for the company’s eight ABC-owned local TV stations.

A different team will be responsible for devising custom solutions and research. Wanda Young will serve as senior vice president, client solutions – insights & creative.  Sean Hanrahan, was named senior vice president, sports brand solutions, and will work to burnish the ESPN portfolio of media assets.  Jerry Daniello, will be senior vice president, entertainment brand solutions, working to create opportunities for the the Disney Kids and Family Portfolio, ABC Entertainment, ABC News, ABC Daytime, ABC Late-Night, Syndication, Freeform and The Disney Digital Network. Zach Chapman, will be vice president, International Alliances, helping to coordinate the company’s ad-sales business around the world and developing global marketing ideas.

Laura Nathanson, executive vice president, revenue & operations, will lead a team responsible for optimizing and managing business opportunities across the portfolio and providing marketers with increased scale as viewing behaviors evolve. Senior executives within the group will include Doug Hochstadt, Travis Howe, James Minnich, Laura Nelson, and James Vanderhoef.

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