Exclusive: NBC Switches Top 'Today' Ad Salesman
Barrington takes on network news shows
By Jon Lafayette -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/5/2013 3:14:30 PM
David Barrington, a VP at NBC News Group Sales, who had been a top salesman for MSNBC, now has the unenviable task of pitching the Today show, along with NBC's other high-profile news broadcasts, Meet the Press and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.
According to a network spokesman, Barrington is essentially switching jobs with another NBC News Group ad sale VP, Tom Stevens, who will be selling MSNBC, the cable news channel.
Today was the top morning news show for 16 years, winning the ratings race every week. But so far this season, Good Morning America is leading Today in the adults 25-54, the key demo for ad sales for most news programming. ABC says its lead over Today is the biggest in more than 21 years.
That long spell of dominance translated into success in ad sales. In 2011, Today generated ad sales of $485 million in ad revenue during the 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. time slot, according to reports. That is in comparison to $299 million for Good Morning America.
With Good Morning America taking over the ratings lead, ABC will try to get some ad dollars to follow. NBC will also face a challenge in maintaining its pricing, since the highest rated shows in a category usually command a premium and ABC will be aggressively looking to boost its rates.
Last year, the Today show dumped Ann Curry as cohost with Matt Lauer, replacing her with Savannah Guthrie. Executive producer Jim Bell was also replaced.
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