BBC Worldwide is expanding its North American ad sales operations, allowing for selling ads across BBC.com and its related cable channels for the first time, the commercial arm of UK's public broadcaster said. The growing of its ad sales comes about five months after BBC America formed its first dedicated advertising group since its stateside debut 10 years earlier. During that time, ads were handled by BBC America's cable distributor, Discovery Communications (NSDQ: DISCA). Over the past year, BBC America has sought a more autonomous role outside of Discovery's fold; setting up an in-house ad sales staff was considered pivotal in gaining its independence.
The new cross-platform sales team will focus on cable channels BBC America and BBC World News, in addition to the website. The sales force will be managed by Mark Gall, SVP, BBC America & BBC Digital Media Sales, and will be made up a string of recent hires, including Brian Matthews, VP for Ad Sales, east coast, who was recently at NBC Digital; Mark Richardson, VP, Advertising Sales, Midwest, who joined from The Weather Channel; and Charles Douglass, VP, Ad Sales, west coast, from CNN Networks. The three will work out of offices in NY, Chicago and Los Angeles.
By David Kaplan