Disney Restructures Ad-Sales, Promotion Groups

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If you’re a parent, you can testify to the fact that today’s kids live and thrive in an integrated media world, and Disney restructured its advertising-sales and promotion groups so that clients can better reach these multitasking youngsters.

The integrated unit, Disney Media Advertising Sales and Marketing Group, will be headed by executive vice president Tricia Wilber, who had been Disney ABC Cable Networks Group’s senior VP of advertising sales and promotions.

Wilber will lead a team to drive all advertising sales, marketing and promotions across TV platforms, including Toon Disney, commercial-free Disney Channel and Saturday-morning kids’ fare on ABC. Wilber and crew will also push availabilities on such online offerings as Disney.com, publishing titles like Disney Adventures magazine and Radio Disney.

In her new post, Wilber will report to three business-unit leaders: Rich Ross, president of Disney Channel Worldwide; Steve Wadsworth, president of Walt Disney Internet Group; and Russell Hampton, president, Disney Publishing Worldwide.

Disney -- which will hold its kids’ upfront-advertising presentation in Manhattan Thursday -- joins other top kids’ players Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network in peddling an array of properties under one sales roof.

“Our new structure enables best-practice sharing across media, sharpens the focus on our powerful consumer base of kids and families and will better serve our clients who are moving away from traditional media buying and increasingly seeking to invest in behavior-focused, multiplatform marketing solutions,” Wilber said in a prepared statement.

“By unifying our sales efforts and aligning exemplary, strategic people in key roles, we can expand the scale of these relationships and increase the effectiveness of our brand and franchise strategies," she added.

To facilitate the one-stop shopping approach, Disney appointed a senior team to shepherd the various business areas and multiplatform arenas.

Michelle Scarola, most recently VP, ad sales, Disney ABC Kids Networks, is now senior VP, TV sales and Eastern multimedia leader, overseeing sponsorship sales for Disney Channel and its Playhouse Disney preschool block; advertising on Toon Disney and its Jetix action block; and the Saturday-morning daypart of ABC.

Brad Davis was promoted to senior VP, online sales and Western multimedia leader, with oversight for the media-sales efforts for all Disney-branded Internet Web sites, which collectively reach 31 million unique monthly users.

Elsewhere, Jon Sayer was named VP, ad sales, Radio Disney, and Midwest multimedia leader, while Mary Beth Wright, as publisher of Disney Adventures and FamilyFun magazines, will lead the unit's publishing sales team.

Three executives will also direct multiplatform support areas: Kara Rousseau as senior VP, marketing and sales development will lead the cross-team; Julie Watkins, VP, revenue planning, is now in charge of the sales and revenue planning team across all areas; and John Spadaro as VP of research will direct all ad-sales research across the various areas.

Finally, Laura Nathanson will continue to oversee the ABC Family and abcfamily.com ad-sales group focusing on adult millennial audiences. She now reports to ABC Family president Paul Lee.

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