This is a move that has been rumored since last Monday, when within a few hours Dave Cassaro was pushed out as president of cable advertising sales at NBCUniversal and Linda Yaccarino left her post as EVP and COO of Turner Entertainment Ad Sales & Marketing and Acquisitions for a “new professional opportunity.” A week later, Yaccarino has been named President, Cable Entertainment & Digital Advertising Sales at NBCUniversal. She will replace Cassaro and report jointly to Bonnie Hammer, Chairman, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment & Cable Studios, and Lauren Zalaznick, Chairman, NBCU Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media. Word is that Cassaro, who came from the Comcast side of the company (he was a 20-year E! veteran), didn’t mesh with the NBCUniversal-dominated combined cable unit’s new leadership, led by NBCUni cable mavens Hammer and Zalaznick. In her new post, Yaccarino will be responsible for all cable entertainment and digital advertising sales for the company including USA, Syfy, Bravo Media, E! Entertainment, Oxygen Media, Style, G4, Sprout, Chiller, Cloo and their respective digital platforms. Additionally, Yaccarino will oversee the sales efforts for NBC.com, AccessHollywood.com, NBCSports.com, NBCOlympics.com and GolfChannel.com and the stand alone digital businesses DailyCandy, Swirl, Fandango, iVillage and Television Without Pity. Said Hammer and Zalaznick in a joint statement, “Linda has a proven track record in driving commercial success through industry-leading innovations and creative strategic marketing solutions for her clients.” Added NBCU CEO Steve Burke, “I want to thank Dave for his many contributions to Comcast over the years and most recently to NBCUniversal where he oversaw a tremendously successful upfront season for our entertainment cable properties.” At Turner, Yaccarino was responsible for all advertising sales, sales marketing, and program acquisitions for the company’s television networks TNT, TBS and truTV, as well as overseeing acquisitions for sister networks TCM, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. During her tenure, Yaccarino continually grew Turner Entertainment’s business year-over-year and was a principal architect of the company’s “broadcast replacement” initiative, which elevated Turner Entertainment Networks to a premium position within the marketplace. She was also instrumental in developing and enhancing “inContext,” the industry’s first-ever contextual platform that helps feature the right ad in the right place at the right time.
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