Keith Turner, the former NBC ad-sales leader, is taking a similar role at Univision, where David Lawenda, who has supervised the Spanish-language network's recent efforts to snare ad money from English-language rivals, will step down.
The move may seem surprising, though Mr. Turner has a history with Univision CEO Randy Falco. Mr. Falco, an NBC veteran who supervised many of the business operations of parent company NBC Universal by the end of his tenure at the corporation, also oversaw Mr. Turner's efforts.
The switch comes weeks after Univision raised eyebrows during the recent TV upfront market. Eager to make a splash, the company unveiled an alliance with Publicis Groupe 's Starcom and Tapestry agencies' that brought ad comittments from Burger King, Mars/Wrigley and Kellogg Co., among others, to Univision. Mr. Lawenda was one of the spearheads of the efforts, holding talks with Starcom much earlier in the year to spark activity. Ad buyers speculated that Univison may have been willing to negotiate on ad rates -- also known as CPMs, a measure of the cost of reaching 1,000 viewers -- in exchange for driving dollar volume.
Mr. Turner, however, is no stranger to the ad game. He was most recently the senior vice president of media sales and sponsorship at the National Football League. Prior to that , he spent more than 20 years at NBC where he held various roles, including president of sales and marketing, and several leadership positions overseeing sales for sports and Olympics.
Univision has been expanding, recently striking a deal with ABC to unveil an English-language cable-news network aimed at Hispanic audiences. The company also faces new competition, with News Corp. recently launching MundoFox, a Spanish-language network that hopes to emulate the success of the company's Fox broadcast network.