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Exclusive: Viacom Dials Up New Mobile Ad Sales Team

Pete Chelala joins from Weather Channel; promotes Deborah Schlessinger Brett to VP of mobile sales 6/04/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern

With mobile becoming an
increasingly important part
of consumers’ lives, Viacom
Media Networks has put together a new
mobile ad sales executive team to create
products and sign sponsors.

Viacom has hired Pete Chelala as VP of
mobile product and sales, from Weather
Channel. Since people often want forecasts
while on the go, the Weather Channel was
an early leader in the mobile space.

Viacom has also promoted Deborah
Schlessinger Brett to VP, mobile sales.
Schlessinger Brett has had several jobs at
Viacom and was most recently director of
new business for Viacom’s Nickelodeon
group. She will be responsible for selling
mobile inventory and ad products across
the company’s music and entertainment
brands, including MTV.

“Our audiences
are among
the most voracious
of mobile content,”
Jeff Lucas, head of
sales, Viacom Media
Networks Music
and Entertainment
Group, said in a
statement. “Pete and Deb give us the combination
of marketplace knowledge and product
expertise to ensure we’re connecting our
clients to our consumers wherever they are,
in the most impactful ways possible.”

Chelala said being at the Weather Channel
got him into mobile early, and that mobile
now has reached critical mass with 130
million unique users. “As we look at usage,
we’re seeing a blend of utility and content
now,” Chelala said. “Sports
scores, news and weather
are obviously going to be
utility-based and accessed
frequently. But people are
diving into content, they’re
searching for stuff, they’re
emailing. There’s a lot more
happening across mobile.”

Schlessinger Brett
pointed to apps like MTV’s Watch With
as an example of how Viacom content is
being consumed across multiple platforms.
“To be social in today’s digital
landscape, you really must be mobile,”
she said. “[We are] innovating products
that allow us to engage in that social
conversation in new ways, bringing advertisers
along and helping them connect
with our fans.”