It’s official. Mark Marshall is NBCUniversal’s next ad sales chief.
Today, NBCUniversal announced it was elevating Mark Marshall to chairman of NBCUniversal’s advertising and partnerships group, reporting to Mark Lazarus, chairman, NBCUniversal media group. Marshall had been serving as interim chairman since long-time ad sales chief Linda Yaccarino’s exit in May.
Between the lines
Marshall was already playing an important role in NBCU’s upfront prior to Yaccarino’s departure. However, the former ad sales chief’s exit came just three days before she was set to lead NBCUniversal’s upfront week presentation at Radio City Music Hall. The situation led to “some rewriting” for NBCU’s presentation, Marshall later admitted to Adweek.
In a statement, Lazarus praised Marshall for stepping “into this role on an interim basis at one of the most critical times of year for the ad sales business.”
“Over the past three months, he has more than proven himself to be the leader NBCU needs to guide this team into the future,” Lazarus said. “Mark’s relationships are second to none, and coupled with his transformative vision, I have no doubt that under his leadership we will continue to reinvent and innovate the sales business while super-serving our clients and partners.”
With Marshall as interim chairman, NBCU became the first major upfront week presenter close talks this year, announcing that commitments were “roughly in line with last year.” In the 2022-2023 upfront season, the company reached $7 billion in commitments, becoming NBCU’s highest-grossing upfront in its history.
Marshall previously served as NBCU’s, president of advertising sales and partnerships, taking the role in 2018 and leading strategic oversight of all advertising sales initiatives for NBCUniversal’s NBC Broadcast Entertainment, NBC Sports, advanced advertising sales and client partnerships.
Despite Yaccarino’s abrupt departure from NBCU, Marshall told Adweek the upfront was going to be business as usual.
“I think it will be the same as I’ve managed my teams over the years,” Marshall said about how he planned to lead the ad sales team. “This company has shown it’s not about one person. It’s about the talent that we have on all levels, and everyone is involved and all hands on deck to get through this upfront season.”