WarnerMedia Ad Sales Chief Donna Speciale Expected to Depart

Variety | 7/10/2019 | Brian Steinberg
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Donna Speciale, a Madison Avenue veteran who has led advertising sales at WarnerMedia’s cable-TV operations since 2012, is expected to leave the company, according to four people familiar with the matter, marking the latest high-profile executive departure from the former Time Warner since AT&T acquired it in June of last year.

WarnerMedia declined to comment and Speciale did not respond immediately to queries sent via social media. Her anticipated departure was reported previously by The Information. Gerhard Zeiler, the executive who was named chief revenue officer of WarnerMedia and who oversees its relationships with advertisers and distributors, has been in the midst of putting his stamp on the unit, these people said, and restructuring operations.

Move - Eyebrows - Company - Advertisers - Speciale

The move is likely to raise some eyebrows among the company’s advertisers, many of whom have counted on Speciale for years to devise unique ways for them to stand apart from rivals and create lasting connections with consumers. Before joining Turner, the TV operation that is one of the main engines of WarnerMedia’s engines, Speciale oversaw media investment at MediaVest, the former division of Publicis Groupe, and enjoyed years-long relationships with advertisers such as Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Kraft Foods. Her departure wouldn’t come as a complete shock, given recent changes at WarnerMedia, said one media-buying executive, but is likely to create some confusion among clients.

Speciale would leave just months after the departure of David Levy, the Turner veteran who previously oversaw the company’s revenue operations and sports properties. Levy hired Speciale and the two had established a successful working relationship, with Speciale’s familiarity with advertisers complementing Levy’s broader oversight of content distribution.

Observers - Overhaul - Desire - AT - T

Observers attribute the overhaul to a desire by AT&T management to put more of a push behind addressable advertising and data-based ad deals. AT&T has in recent months touted its ability to use its...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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