NBCU Adds More Sales Staff Under Yaccarino Pre-Upfront

New faces beef up sports unit, other divisions

NBCUniversal ad sales head Linda Yaccarino has created four new titles on the company's ad sales roster, adding muscle to a team that has been growing since she arrived at the conglomerate, just prior to last year's upfront presentations, from NBCU cable rival Turner.

NBCU cut some 500 staffers in Q4 last year; almost simultaneously, it added new ad sales pros. Now Yaccarino, head of sales for all television properties including broadcast, is bringing in yet more staff from disparate parts of the advertising world to amp up its broad portfolio.

At the company's flagship cable brands, Laura Molen will join as evp of cable advertising sales and will oversee USA, Syfy, E!, G4, Chiller, Cloo and WWE. Oddly, though Bonnie Hammer has been named head of all NBCU properties, Molen's job description suggests that, at least for now, the somewhat incongruous split in the cable group will remain in place—evp of NBCU Lauren Zalaznick was in charge of Bravo, Oxygen, Style, Telemundo and Mun2, but none of those properties were named in today's memo from NBCU.

There's also evidence in these four hires that the company is trying not to sequester all of its Hispanic viewers on those last two channels—Molen arrives from Univision, where she led the Spanish-language TV giant to an unprecedented approximately $2 billion in revenue last year as evp of network sales and marketing.

Molen's second in command will be Peter Lazarus, now svp of cable ad sales and responsible for all the same properties as Molen except for E! and G4 (both inherited from Comcast during the merger). Lazarus is formerly of USA Today where he headed multimedia sales for the news organization's sports media group for the last two years. Before that he worked at Univision as well, managing sales and marketing operations for Univision proper, TeleFutura (now UniMas) and Galavision.

Lou Koskovolis will join NBC Sports Group to help sell the company's golf-related properties—Golf Channel, Golf Channel on NBC, and their related digital platforms and events. Koskovolis hails from MLB where he was svp of corporate sales and marketing.

Katie Larkin will work as svp of ad sales strategy under Trish Frohman, evp of same, specifically on digital and cross-platform sales across the portfolio. Larkin hails from Yaccarino's last port of call—she worked as svp of ad sales research and strategy on TBS, TNT and TruTV. Frohman's position would seem to involve Zalaznick's internal promotional group, which works across unrelated properties.