Spanish-Language Nets Shake Up Ad Sales

Mandala Upped at Telemundo; Lawenda Re-joins Uva at Univision

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NEW YORK ( -- Both major U.S. Spanish-language TV networks are completely restructuring their sales operations this fall.
Steve Mandala
Steve Mandala

This week Steve Mandala, senior VP-sales and marketing and distribution for Telemundo and NBC Universal Networks, was promoted to a new post as exec VP for NBC Universal's cable ad sales.

Telemundo is starting an internal and external search for his successor, and Mr. Mandala will be responsible for both Telemundo and cable ad sales until a new sales head for the Hispanic network is named later this year or in early 2008.

Gradual transition
"It will be a gradual transition, not like a light switch, more like a dimmer switch until we have the transition we want," said Don Browne, Telemundo's president.

Separately, the news broke that another key Telemundo exec, Antoinette Zel, will leave when her contract expires Nov. 15. Ms. Zel, senior exec VP-network strategy and digital media, joined Telemundo three years ago and oversaw the building of a digital division from scratch, the re-launch of youth cable channel Mun2, consumer marketing and research.

Mr. Browne said Ms. Zel's position will not be filled, but that he'll watch those areas for a while to see what changes might be needed.

Changes at Univision
At Univision Communications, CEO Joe Uva restructured sales last month, bringing in David Lawenda as president-advertising sales. Longtime Univision sales execs Tom McGarrity and Dennis McCauley, who were co-presidents of advertising sales for Univision's TV networks, left at the end of September.

In a change that reflects the re-structuring Mr. Uva started when he joined Univision in April from OMD, where he was president-CEO, Mr. Lawenda is responsible for ad sales across all Univision's divisions, not just television.

Mr. Lawenda, 40, is new to Hispanic media. After working with Mr. Uva early in his career at Turner, his most recent job was at Viacom, as senior VP-advertising sales for MTV Networks.
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