Mark Marshall, a longtime senior NBCUniversal ad-sales executive, will take on broader responsibilities, including overseeing the company’s upfront negotiations, as part of an overhaul at the company’s advertising and partnerships division.
Marshall “will be leading a new, converged national sales team, serving all our agency and client partners,” said Linda Yaccarino, chairman of the company’s global advertising and partnerships business, in a statement. “This will enable central contact points to allow us to develop customized solutions across NBCU assets to achieve our marketers’ objectives.”
NBCU is reorganizing the division after the unexpected departure of Laura Molen, who had been viewed as a potential successor to Yaccarino. Sales of the NBCU portfolio had been split between Molen and Marshall, with the former overseeing outreach for Peacock and lifestyle-focused cable networks and the latter managing big-audience properties like NBC and USA as well as sports.
Now a single executive will supervise all national ad sales outreach, typically one of the biggest generators of traditional advertising revenue at the company.
The ad-sales division will add a new group to manage sales to small businesses, Yaccarino said, a sign of how large media companies are intensifying their effort to capture ad dollars from companies that previously might not have considered working with a national TV outlet. Thanks to the advent of digital and streaming venues, smaller advertisers have new opportunities to buy ads that reach a group of customers defined by geographic location or a particular behavior or interest. An executive to lead the team will be named at a later date.
Krishan Bhatia, the ad-sales unit’s chief business officer, is charged with leading teams devoted to ad-tech and streaming and data products, developing concepts and formats for Peacock, social media and gaming, among other venues. Bhatia will also manage NBCU’s efforts to sell ads for Apple News, part of a pact struck in 2016.