Discovery Rediscovers Itself With New Ad Sales Structure

Discovery has reorganized its ad sales teams into three new selling bundles, the company said Thursday.

In March, the 35-year-old company acquired longtime competitor Scripps Networks Interactive for $14.6 billion. With HGTV, Food Network, Investigation Discovery and 14 other channels under its umbrella, Discovery Inc. wanted to create larger teams with fewer salespeople, according to Jon Steinlauf, Discovery’s chief US advertising sales officer. The goal is to avoid overwhelming buyers.

“Before [the restructuring], you had six groups,” Steinlauf said. “Scripps had three groups of sellers and Discovery had three groups. Now, we no longer have six TV selling teams – you have a consolidation into three teams, and the teams have been strategically chosen based on content and personnel.”

Each of the three bundles has a flagship brand. Discovery chose HGTV, Discovery, and the Food Network to lead their respective bundles based on their established market presence and name recognition, Steinlauf said.

HGTV will be bundled with ID, Animal Planet and the DIY Network. Food Network will be grouped with TLC, OWN and the Cooking Channel. Discovery Channel will be organized with the Travel Channel, Science and the Motor Trend Network.


Greg Regis, previously SVP of ad sales and media partnerships, is now EVP of national ad sales managing the first group. Karen Grinthal, previously SVP of advertising sales for Food Network and Cooking Channel, is now EVP of national advertising sales overseeing the Food Network, TLC, OWN and Cooking Channel bundle.

Scott Kohn, previously group SVP of regional advertising sales, is now EVP of national advertising sales managing the Discovery, Travel Channel, Science Channel and Motor Trend teams.

In a summer of media mega-mergers, Discovery says it isn’t fazed. Since Discovery Inc.’s properties are lifestyle-based not anything controversial, like news advertisers are eager, Steinlauf explained.

“We play in a different space [from other media companies],” he said. “We deal with real-life entertainment, and we’re dominating this space of the business.”

 

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