Jon Steinlauf, one of a small number of Scripps Networks Interactive execs to rise through the Discovery ranks after the company bought Scripps, is rising again in the new Warner Bros Discovery.
Steinlauf will serve as the future Chief U.S. Advertising Sales Officer for Warner Bros. Discovery, the company said. The $43 billion merger is expected to close later today, and Steinlauf’s appointment follows a raft of others, mostly Discovery brass keeping or expanding their turf in the new structure.
Steinlauf, who has more than 35 years of sales experience, will report directly to Bruce Campbell, future Chief Revenue and Strategy Officer for Warner Bros Discovery. The move will reconnect the Turner portfolio to Steinlauf, who was a sales exec at Turner prior to his tenure at Scripps.
Advertising will play a central role at Warner Bros Discovery, both in terms of linear TV and streaming. HBO Max, which WarnerMedia launched two years ago, has recently added an ad-supported tier. Discovery+ has been ad-supported since it launched in early 2021. Discovery reported $4.2 billion in ad revenue in the U.S. in 2021, up 4% from the prior year. The TV ad business is experiencing turbulence during the rise of streaming, requiring legacy media companies to execute a complex balancing act of keeping linear networks humming while also putting more focus on streaming.
“Jon is an industry pioneer, a brilliant thinker and an excellent leader. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have him join the Warner Bros. Discovery leadership team,” Campbell said. “I look forward to partnering with him and the entire organization as we bring together two world-class sales organizations to create a complete and differentiated offering for our advertisers.”
Steinlauf said the combined company “will offer advertisers the most complementary portfolio of brands – spanning news, sports, entertainment, scripted, unscripted and family-focused programming. Together, we will introduce unparalleled ad-supported streaming opportunities to our clients.”
As Chief U.S. Advertising Sales Officer at Discovery, Steinlauf managed sales, developed new and convergent revenue streams, as well as overseeing research, marketing and branded entertainment, pricing and planning, and inventory control.
Both WarnerMedia and Discovery had reserved dates for upfront presentations to advertisers during the week of May 16, when other major media companies are holding upfronts. There will now be a combined event, likely on May 18, according to company insiders.
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