In a major executive appointment, Discovery Networks U.S. president Billy
Campbell announced Tuesday that he has lured longtime CBS president of ad sales
Joe Abruzzese over to head Discovery's sales efforts.
In a teleconference call, Campbell said the hiring of Abruzzese represented
'a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring in the top draft choice ... a chance
to get the best in the business.'
Abruzzese said one of his goals will be to reduce 'the disparity in price and
value' between network cable and the broadcast networks.
As for Bill McGowan, recently appointed Discovery Communications Inc.'s
executive vice president and general manager of U.S. ad sales and global
integrated partnerships, both executives emphasized that he will remain part of
the sales team. Abruzzese said McGowan will be 'clearly my No. 2.'
Campbell said McGowan will continue to focus on global and multiplatform
Campbell also cited Abruzzese's sales background at CBS (22 years) and NBC
(10 years), adding that both had worked at CBS at one point.
Abruzzese officially starts at Discovery Nov. 1.