The goal of the division is to capitalize on One Platform’s capabilities in “streaming, programmatic, our data-driven linear business and our partnerships business,” such as NBCU’s exclusive selling rights for Apple News, Bhatia said.
NBCU will also develop a small and medium-sized business development team, which will work alongside the national sales division to help brands traditionally excluded from high-cost TV advertising grow their presence in the medium. The new effort will also work to develop resources for SMB clients, like NBCU’s “Open Doors” program launched last year.
“We have a giant opportunity to grow beyond our historical customer base of a couple thousand large-cap marketers and agencies to serve tens of thousands of customers,” said Bhatia. The executive described how streaming has democratized access to TV audiences “that small and medium-sized businesses, performance marketers and direct-to-consumer brands are trying to reach—when they historically have only been able to reach them through search advertising or social advertising efficiently.”
NBCU’s national sales team will converge under Mark Marshall, president of advertising sales and partnerships. Marshall will lead the teams for each client account across the company’s media assets, linear and digital. NBCU’s president of platform monetization Tom Winiarski will assist in facilitating the merging of digital and linear sales. This shift comes after news late last year that co-president Laura Molen would be departing NBCU at the end of this year’s first quarter.
Local sales will continue to be led by Frank Comerford and global sales will be led by recent hire Maggy Chan.