Turner realigns ad sales; taps Speciale


Turner Broadcasting System’s ad sales division has made a number of organizational changes designed to more closely align/integrate operating functions within each of the sales business units, under David Levy, President/Sales, distribution and sports for TBS.

Leading the organization will be longtime Turner exec Greg D’Alba, in the newly created position of President/News and Turner Digital Ad Sales, and well-regarded industry executive Donna Speciale will join the company from MediaVest as president, Turner Entertainment & Animation Ad Sales. D’Alba was previously EVP/COO for CNN Ad Sales, Marketing and Operations. Levy has worked with D-Alba for over 20 years.

With the exception of Donna, this is all effective as of today, Turner spokesman Sal Petruzzi tells RBR-TVBR: “In regards to Donna, there will be a transition period from her move to MediaVest to Turner.”

D’Alba and Speciale each will lead a team of senior sales execs who will work across Turner’s US TV networks, websites and digital platforms.

Speciale is president of Investment and Activation and Agency Operations for MediaVest USA, leading national and local video investment, publishing, digital and out-of-home for the company. MediaVest clients and vendors include Kraft, Masterfoods, P&G and Coca-Cola, among others. She’ll lead ad sales for the company’s entertainment, kids and youth networks, including TBS, TNT, truTV, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. Additionally, Speciale will co-lead Cartoon Network Enterprises, which includes consumer products, licensing, home video/DVD and retail development, with Stu Snyder, president and chief operating officer of Turner’s Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media division.

Specifically, D’Alba will oversee ad sales for the CNN portfolio of networks and Turner’s digital news, entertainment, sports and animation properties, as well as Turner’s DR biz. Walker Jacobs now reports to D’Alba in the newly created role of EVP/digital ad sales. He’ll now manage digital and mobile ad sales across Turner’s portfolio of sports, entertainment, kids and youth brands, as well as the CNN digital and mobile ad sales division.

Katrina Cukaj is being promoted to EVP/CNN Ad Sales and will continue to report directly to D’Alba. She was previously SVP/news sales and marketing and will now be responsible for managing ad sales for CNN’s television networks, including CNN, HLN and Airport.

Frank Sgrizzi, most recently SVP/New York ad sales and operations for Turner Entertainment, has been named to the newly created position of EVP/Turner Entertainment Ad Sales. He’ll oversee ad sales for both TBS and TNT, reporting directly to Speciale.

Joe Hogan, who has held key sales positions within Turner Broadcasting, will relocate from Chicago to New York and assume the newly created position of EVP/truTV, Cartoon & Adult Swim Ad Sales, reporting directly to Speciale. Hogan was SVP/NSM for Turner Entertainment, with oversight of truTV sales.

Lenny Daniels, EVP/COO of Turner Sports assumes, oversight of Turner Sports Ad Sales to go along with his responsibilities for overseeing programming, scheduling, production, marketing, strategy, operations and other core business functions.  Jon Diament, EVP/Turner Sports Ad Sales, will now report directly to Daniels.  

In addition, the executive team reporting to Levy includes Coleman Breland, EVP/COO of Turner Network Sales; Daniels and Michael Salerno, who is being upped to EVP/Strategic planning & operations and adds ad sales operations to his oversight of strategic planning for Turner’s linear and digital networks and platforms. Levy will also add a new EVP/Sales promotions and marketing, responsible for overseeing all Ad Sales Marketing and Promotions for Turner’s linear and digital divisions.