NBC Universal Restructures Sales Organization

Michael Pilot Ups Gambelli to Network Ad-Sales President

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Michael Pilot, president-NBC Universal sales and marketing, today unveiled some structural changes and appointments right before the start of the new fall season. Marianne Gambelli, formerly exec VP-sales and marketing, was promoted to president-NBC network ad sales. Debbie Reichig and John Sabino were appointed senior VP-market development and senior VP-commercial excellence, respectively.
Marianne Gambelli
Marianne Gambelli Credit: NBC/Virginia Sherwood

The changes in the department are significant for Mr. Pilot, who entered his position less than a year ago, after serving as president-consumer finance in one of the divisions of NBC's parent company, General Electric.

"This new structure allows us to even better position our selling, marketing and consumer-insight capabilities, creating added value for our clients and furthering our efforts to take a more client-centric, solutions-oriented approach to the market," Mr. Pilot said.

NBC finished last season in fourth place among the networks, and part of Mr. Pilot's charge is to find a way to win back marketers sorely disappointed in the network's poor showing in the ratings.

Cable changes
Since arriving at NBC, Mr. Pilot has overseen some changes in the sales division, such as a substantial increase in the cable-network sales staff. Mr. Pilot is expected to name a cable-sales leader in the coming weeks. This person will be responsible for the company's cable networks -- USA, Sci-Fi, Bravo, Chiller, Sleuth and Universal HD.

Ms. Gambelli has held the exec VP-sales and marketing post for NBC Universal since 2004. She has worked for NBC since 1989 and has held a variety of positions of there, including VP-eastern sales and VP-NBC Sports sales. During her tenure, Ms. Gambelli was integral in increasing ad sales for the National Basketball Association games in the 1990s and eventually became the exec VP-prime-time sports and specials, before overseeing the entire NBC Universal group.
Michael Pilot, president-NBC Universal sales and marketing
Michael Pilot, president-NBC Universal sales and marketing Credit: Chris Haston

Ms. Gambelli's new position places her over all the NBC network properties. This covers entertainment, news, sports and Olympics, as well as the regional sales offices in Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles.

Making everything simpler
Ms. Reichig is officially joining the sales division after serving as senior VP-market development in NBC Universal's Integrated Media Group for the last six months. In her new position, Ms. Reichig will lead strategic-marketing efforts and work to further the company's ad- and research-innovation endeavors. Ms. Reichig has experience with several other companies, serving as senior VP-sales strategy for Court TV and senior VP-marketing and research for iVillage, which falls under NBC Universal Digital Media.

Mr. Sabino's new role is to make everything simpler, so that the selling process can be more effective across the board at NBC Universal.

"As we pursue a more research-informed selling approach that connects our clients more strategically and creatively to our content, we need to have new processes and systems in place to further that effort," Mr. Pilot said.
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