A+E Networks, one of the last remaining big media companies that hadn’t switched to a cross-portfolio and cross-platform sales strategy, is finally jumping on the bandwagon.
In the shift, which the company announced today, the ad sales team will no longer sell its inventory by brand, with separate linear and digital groups, and will morph into a cross-platform and cross-portfolio organization, with a dedicated client team.
“A+E Networks has a powerful portfolio of brands that reaches a variety of audiences at scale,” said evp of ad sales Peter Olsen in a statement. “We are confident that this new structure and these newly defined roles within our sales team will help us better leverage our audiences and the platforms, programs and brands with whom they connect.”
The reconfigured team—there are no layoffs or new hires—will sell inventory across the entire portfolio, with new responsibilities for several execs:
Amy Baker, evp of ad sales, will head up a new client strategy and insights team. She’ll oversee direct-to-client interaction, working with brand managers, CMOs and marketing execs.
Brian Joyce, svp of ad sales, will work on national accounts and focus on agency partners, and devising portfolio-wide solutions outside the usual selling cycle.
David DeSocio, svp of ad sales and partnership marketing, will lead the company’s product development, portfolio sales strategy and ad sales marketing.
Lance Still, svp of branded content, will now oversee The Bridge, A+E’s in-house creative agency, as well as The Build, which focuses on client solutions involving A+E content.
Jim Hoffman, evp of program partnerships and strategic initiatives, will head up the company’s regional sales offices in L.A., Detroit and Chicago.
All five execs will report to Olsen.
Over the past several years, most of the major media companies—including NBCUniversal, Fox and Turner—have realigned their ad sales teams to sell inventory across all their entire portfolio and on all platforms. Most recently, Disney-ABC created a portfolio-wide ad sales division in February and tapped Rita Ferro to run it.
After declining to hold a big upfront event in 2016, A+E Networks returned to the fold this year, holding a big presentation for buyers and announcing the return of its Biography franchise.