The CW Owner Nexstar Sets New Ad Sales Leadership

The company is combining its networks and digital assets as a portfolio for upfront negotiations

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Nexstar Media Group’s ad sales team is getting some new additions.

Top line

On Tuesday, CW owner Nexstar announced a newly created advertising sales structure and leadership team, including Todd Braverman as evp, head of national sales; Brad Epperson as evp, platform operations and technology; and Lori Tavoularis, who will serve as chief business officer.

The company also clarified how it would handle upfront negotiations, going to market as a portfolio by combining its networks and digital assets.

Between the lines

According to Nexstar, the company’s new ad structure and leadership team were implemented to drive ad sales across its media portfolio by emphasizing a client-first approach and a data-driven, multiplatform focus. The newly appointed execs will begin immediately and report to Michael Strober, chief revenue officer.

“I am delighted to have Todd, Brad and Lori join me as we transform Nexstar’s go-to-market strategy,” Strober said in a statement. “Each of them possesses the requisite skills and domain expertise to build a next-gen, agile media sales organization.”

In addition to announcing new ad sales leadership, Nexstar also confirmed to Adweek how it would handle upfront negotiations for The CW.

The network’s longtime ad sales chief Rob Tuck exited the company in December, becoming the latest executive to leave following Nexstar closing its acquisition of The CW in October.

According to Strober, the company’s new strategy doesn’t require Tuck’s position to be filled, and Braverman, who previously served as svp, agency sales at Warner Bros. Discovery, will play a key role in negotiations.

“There is no direct replacement for Rob because we are going to market as a portfolio, combining our networks like The CW, NewsNation and our digital assets,” Strober told Adweek. “Todd and I will be leading the upfront negotiations, along with Brian Doherty [evp, multiplatform sales for The CW network] and David Diederich [svp, ad sales for NewsNation].”

Nexstar’s portfolio of assets includes 200 owned or partner stations in 116 markets, The CW, NewsNation, Antenna TV, Rewind TV and digital news and information properties such as The Hill and Best Reviews.

The company is still deciding whether or not The CW will keep its usual Thursday morning slot for upfront week presentations in May.

Bottom line

If The CW opts to forgo the Thursday morning upfront slot, it will follow in Paramount’s footsteps. Paramount announced in December that it would skip its normal upfront week presentation at Carnegie Hall in favor of “high-impact, intimate gatherings” in April for its major agency partners and their clients.

Though Paramount chose to sit out upfront week presentations, Netflix quickly filled the company’s Wednesday afternoon slot. The streaming giant exclusively told Adweek that it will host its first-ever upfront week event on Wednesday, May 17, at New York’s Paris Theater.

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