NBCU ad boss adds local ads, Symphony, and new data unit to purview

NBCUniversal ad boss Linda Yaccarino is taking on a larger role within the media conglomerate as global chairman of advertising and partnerships, the company announced on Monday.

The promotion, effective immediately, positions Yaccarino, who has been spearheading an initiative to create a single ad-buying system that spans TV and digital, to unite more parts of NBCU’s ad business.

Yaccarino previously was chairman of advertising and partnerships, managing the media company’s portfolio of linear networks like NBC, digital platforms like Peacock, distribution partnerships, and client relationships.

In her new role, she adds to her purview NBCU’s local ads, company-wide marketing strategies, and a new data-strategy team that she’s charged with building. She continues to report to CEO Jeff Shell.

As part of the change: 

  • Local ads will be added to One Platform, NBCU’s all-in-one ad-buying system, which Yaccarino leads. The team that sells ads across NBCU’s local-TV stations and regional-sports networks, run by local-sales revenue chief Frank Comerford, will report into Yaccarino.
  • Yaccarino will oversee NBCU’s strategic initiatives, led by SVP Kathy Kelly-Brown. That includes NBCU’s Symphony marketing campaigns that rally the company around moments, like Peacock’s debut or the Olympic Games. Under Yaccarino’s oversight, the team will start talks with major advertisers about opening up Symphony, similar to the way it works with a “council” of Peacock sponsors to test ad formats for the streaming service. 
  • Yaccarino is building a data-strategy unit charged with bringing together research from across the organization to grow the company’s revenue. The team, which will be led by a data chief who has not yet been named, will work on creating unified anonymous identifies for NBCU audiences, using data to scale NBCU’s new shoppable ads, and using research to inform that ad experience, like reimagining what ads look like in movies on Peacock versus TV