Linda Yaccarino Adds Local Ad Sales Purview, New Data Strategy Unit in Expanded NBCU Role

After overhauling NBCUniversal’s news and entertainment divisions, new CEO Jeff Shell has turned his attention to the business side, expanding Linda Yaccarino’s role at the company.

Yaccarino has been promoted to chairman of global advertising and partnerships for NBCUuniversal. In addition to overseeing national advertising sales, ad sales marketing and global partnerships, Yaccarino will now add the local advertising sales and strategic initiatives teams to her purview, and will also head up a new companywide data strategy unit.

This is an extension of NBCUniversal’s One Platform offering, rolled out earlier this year, which enables the selling of ad inventory across all screens. Today’s moves will align NBCU’s local ad sales operation with its global sales efforts.

“Linda has done a fantastic job moving the advertising business forward, not just for NBCUniversal but the industry at large,” said Shell in a statement. “I’m excited for her to continue architecting the future of the ad-supported ecosystem and uniting all assets of this company to make us the best possible partner for our customers around the world.” 

Frank Comerford, chief revenue officer for local sales, will continue heading up commercial efforts for NBCU’s local TV stations, multicast networks and regional sports networks, and will now report to Yaccarino.

Yaccarino will also head the company’s new data strategy unit, which will create for a “shared information vision” at NBCUniversal, she said in a staff memo. That new unit will be led by a chief data officer, who will be named soon and report to Yaccarino.

The strategic initiative team, led by svp Kathy Kelly-Brown, will also join Yaccarino’s team.

“By organizing our business to reflect the realities of the marketplace and the future that audiences have created, we’re able to bolster our One Platform solution and, subsequently, our entire business,” Yaccarino, who joined NBCU in 2011, wrote in a staff memo. “Now, from local to global, across cable and broadcast, digital and streaming, NBCUniversal—and onlyNBCUniversal—can offer audiences and partners an unbeatable combination of deep regional expertise and massive scale, data-driven math and a little bit of magic.”

Today’s moves continue Shell’s efforts to reconfigure and streamline NBCUniversal. In August, the CEO unveiled a major NBCU TV and streaming reorganization. The new structure created three horizontally integrated units, all of them reporting to Mark Lazarus, who was named chairman of NBCUniversal television and streaming in May as part of a separate NBCU reorganization that gave Cesar Conde oversight of all news properties.

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