NBCU Ad Sales Force Get Pink Slips12 Nov, 2013 By: Doug McPherson
NEW YORK – NBCUniversal cut about two-dozen workers from its TV ad sales staff, according to TV executives and reports.
The lost positions apparently overlapped after Linda Yaccarino, NBCU’s president of sales, announced a new way to give advertisers “scale” and arrange the company's asset into four groups: mass reach entertainment, lifestyle, live programming and digital video.
"In an effort to maximize the power and potential of our portfolio, now we are putting in place the strategic leaders who will continue to position us for growth and provide opportunities for our customers like no other media company can," Yaccarino, said in a statement. "In a world of growing fragmentation, and as scale has become more and more elusive, we've clustered our networks to capitalize on the strength of our assets. Also, I'm excited to expand our creative marketing offerings by developing a new center of marketing excellence and innovation for our clients."
In more forthcoming language in September, Steve Burke, CEO of NBCU, admitted the NBC Television Network was lagging behind other big broadcast networks in terms of overall revenue – about $500 million to $1 billion lower each year than CBS, ABC and Fox Broadcasting. NBC also trails them in key cost-per-thousand viewer pricing. Overall, Burke reports NBC lost around $5 billion in the past seven years because of poor ratings.
Burke also noted a gap for NBCUniversal’s USA Network versus other major broad-based cable networks – a 20-percent discount in ad unit pricing compared to that of Time Warner’s TNT and TBS.
During this past upfront selling period in June and July – now under the direction of Yaccarino – USA Network attempted to close the CPM gap by linking overall year-long sales deals for marketers to its highly desirable and expectedly high-rated “Modern Family” repeats, according to media-buying executives.