Linda Yaccarino was gone, however not forgotten, as NBCUniversal kicked off upfront week with its presentation this morning at New York’s Radio Metropolis Music Corridor.
The longtime advert gross sales chief departed the corporate on Friday to turn into Twitter’s CEO, requiring last-minute rewrites to NBCUniversal’s upfront presentation. In her absence, Mark Marshall, previously president of promoting gross sales and shopper partnerships, was named interim chairman of NBCUniversal’s promoting and partnerships group, reporting to Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBCUniversal Tv and Streaming.
Each Lazarus, who was the primary government on stage (a task beforehand stuffed by NBCU CEO Jeff Shell, who exited the corporate final month), and Marshall paid tribute to Yaccarino in the course of the presentation. “We need to thank her and want her properly,” mentioned Lazarus.
In the meantime, a joke at Twitter’s expense early within the presentation took on new that means given Yaccarino’s current departure. The occasion kicked off with a video that includes Seth MacFarlane’s foul-mouthed, speaking bear, Ted, performing a tune and dance in regards to the significance of TV adverts, particularly over different platforms equivalent to social media. The road that received the largest snigger from the viewers: “Twitter might look like the place to start/however Twitter simply let all of the crazies again in.”
However Yaccarino’s absence wasn’t the one motive that NBCUniversal’s presentation was something however atypical, and extra subdued than common. Due to the continued Writers Guild of America strike, most of NBCUniversal’s leisure expertise declined to take part within the upfront, in solidarity with the writers (who picketed outdoors Radio Metropolis, making a considerably congested presence as individuals scooted by indicators to line up for the venue). Radio Metropolis is simply the primary of the WGA’s deliberate protests throughout upfront week, because the group is about to hit every main writer presentation.
Lazarus additionally acknowledged the writers strike, which was a serious distinction to how NBCU dealt with the strike at its NewFronts occasion two weeks earlier, utterly ignoring it throughout Peacock’s occasion regardless of writers protesting outdoors.
“We’re grateful for the contribution writers make to our firm and respect their proper to reveal,” Lazarus mentioned. “It could take a while, however I do know we’ll ultimately get by this and the end result will likely be a stronger basis upon which we will all transfer ahead collectively.”