ViacomCBS Sets Ad Sales Roster Under Jo Ann Ross, Clarifies New Titles And Some Exits


About a month and a half after the close of the Viacom-CBS merger, the combined company has finalized the roster of advertising sales executives reporting up to Jo Ann Ross.

Last October, Ross was confirmed as the head of sales for the combined company, following a 27-year stretch at CBS, the latter half of which coincided with the flagship broadcast network’s rise to dominance.

While the announcement last fall about her promotion meant longtime Viacom sales chief Sean Moran was among the executives to depart, six additional departures have been revealed. Several of those remaining in the fold also have new titles and roles.

What follows is an overview of the newly configured ranks, according to insiders at ViacomCBS, who conveyed the news to employees on Wednesday afternoon.

John Bogusz will remain EVP of Sports Sales and Marketing, CBS Network Sales, overseeing sales for sports across the CBS Television Network and CBS Sports Network.

Louis Carr will continue as President, Media Sales, BET, responsible for linear and digital advertising sales and integrated marketing for BET, reporting to both Ross and BET President Scott Mills.

Steve Ellis will continue as EVP of Ad Strategy and Business Development, ViacomCBS.

David Lawenda, previously EVP, Digital Sales and Sales Strategy at CBS, will become EVP Sales, Digital Video & Interactive, ViacomCBS. He will be responsible for digital video and branded content across all ViacomCBS platforms as well as social influencer sales, also overseeing sales at Pluto TV in coordination with its CEO, Tom Ryan. He will report to Ross and John Halley, COO of Ad Revenue and EVP, AMS at ViacomCBS. Rich Calacci, chief revenue officer at Pluto, will exit the company amid that transition.

Dave Morris, previously EVP, Advanced Advertising and Client Partnerships, CBS, is becoming EVP, Chief Client Officer, ViacomCBS. His focus will be on the company’s entire portfolio of assets and delivering a unified sales strategy for its top 50 key clients.

Karen Phillips, previously EVP, Ad Solutions, Viacom, will be EVP, Convergent Sales, ViacomCBS. She will be responsible for multi-platform sales across ViacomCBS cable brands, including MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, CMT, TV Land, Pop TV and Smithsonian Channel.

Linda Rene will continue as EVP, Primetime Sales and Innovation, CBS Network Sales. She will be responsible for primetime sales, including branded entertainment and client supplied programming, and continue to lead the Eye Max team, focusing on branded entertainment partnerships and synergies.

Chris Simon will continue in his role as EVP, Network Sales, CBS Television Network, overseeing client partnerships and linear sales transactions as well as CBS’ sales offices in Chicago, Detroit and LA.

In addition to Pluto’s Calacci, five others are departing the company. That list includes Viacom’s EVP of Ad Solutions, Valerie Bischak; Smithsonian Channel SVP Mary Ellen Bottone; Pop TV EVP of Ad Sales Michael DuPont; Viacom EVP of Advanced Advertising Bryson Gordon; and David Paschkes, EVP and Managing Director of CBS Experiences.

Halley’s new role will give him oversight of commercial and business operations for the unified ad team, as well as ViacomCBS’ portfolio of differentiated advanced advertising and marketing solutions across linear, digital and social. Russ Behrman, Executive Vice President, Sales Strategy, Planning and Administration; Mike Dean, SVP, Advanced Advertising and Automation; and Dario Spina, EVP and CMO, Viacom Velocity, will all report to Halley. Spina will also report to Ross.

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