Paramount Global Restructures Ad-Sales Team

Paramount Global is shaking up the way it communicates with Madison Avenue.

Karen Phillips, Chris Simon and David Lawenda were given new duties under a team that is now being directed by John Halley, who was named president of the operation in September. The moves effectively merge ad-sales teams that had been devoted separately to sales related to assets that had in the past been assigned to either the former CBS Corp. or Viacom Inc., the two companies that merged in late 2019 to form Paramount Global.

The new ad-sales team is being structured to that specific executives are assigned to work with individual media-buying agencies. Phillips, for example, will now overseeing Paramount’s relationships with Omnicom Media Group, GroupM, and Horizon Media, as well as the development of new business. Simon will supervise Paramount’s relationships with Interpublic Group, Dentsu and Publicis. Lawenda will serve as chief digital advertising officer, overseeing al digital sales efforts, including programmatic and Local.

Some longtime team members will retain oversight of special areas. John Bogusz, who ran ad-sales efforts for CBS Sports, will continue to do so, and report to Halley. Joe Mina, an executive who supervised ad sales for CBS’ news and late-night properties, will also do so, while also running the company’s relationship with Dentsu. Louis Carr will run ad sales for BET, and report to both BET President Scott Mills and Halley. Dave Morris will serve as Chief Client Officer, focused on talking to top clients about the broader Paramount media portfolio. And Linda Rene will oversee responsible primetime ad sales for the CBS network as well as branded entertainment and client-supplied programming.

Halley, who joined the former Viacom Inc. in 2007, has helped orchestrate many of the company’s efforts to accommodate new forms of TV advertising. He has supervised a growing effort to sell ad inventory based on consumer data, as well as an initiative to sell so-called “addressable” commercials on the CBS broadcast network that are sent only to a subset of the overall audience. He has also been an instrumental part of Open AP, an industry consortium that aims to help advertisers create defined audience segments that hold across different media companies. Halley serves as chairman of that operation.

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