Telemundo Expands, Restructures More Client-Friendly Sales Side

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Dan Lovinger, executive VP of sales and integrated marketing
at Spanish-language broadcast network Telemundo and its cable network mun2, has
instituted several changes aimed at improving the media company's ability to
increase its share of ad dollars in the marketplace. He has restructured how
marketers are called on by sales executives, formed new business teams and
stepped up branded entertainment deals within Telemundo novelas, including in
its newest, Corazón Valiente.

Lovinger joined Telemundo a little more than a year ago
after spending five years as senior VP of sales and integrated marketing for
MTV Networks and, prior to that, another five as head of sales at VH1.

As the television upfront selling season approaches for the
broadcast and cable networks, Lovinger talks about the changes he is making
within the sales department and how they will impact Telemundo clients.

You joined Telemundo about a year ago. What are some of your sales
goals?

One area of concentration has been in product integrations. Historically,
Telemundo has worked to integrate advertisers into its content, but we are
stepping that up even more. We have an advantage in that we produce a lot of
our content through our own studio, so we want to work hard to get more
advertisers involved within our programming beyond 30-second commercials. Our
goal for clients is not just placing a product in our novelas, but to actually
integrate that product with the storylines and characters.

What are some examples of that?
In our newest novela Corazón Valiente,
we did a deal with Subway where the two main female characters, both
bodyguards, eat Subway sandwiches as part of their training regimen to stay fit
and eat healthy. Some of the scenes are shot on-site at a Subway store. We also
have a deal with Anheuser-Busch for Bud Light. In some scenes there is signage
and Bud Light is consumed at appropriate times within the story line during
celebrations. It's subtle but there's always a reason why the product is there.
And we have a few more integration deals working that we are not ready to
announce yet.

What is the reaction of the advertisers whose products are integrated?
We are able to measure the effectiveness of the integrations working with
[research company] IAG. We measure such things as the viewers' intent to buy
and consume the brands and their awareness of them in the novelas. So, the
client gets feedback. We also make sure we are very clear of the clients'
intent for the product and make sure that intent is met when the product is
written in.

Which categories have the most integrations?
The auto category is very big with our integrations, but we also have a
lot of wireless and retail store integrations that show up in our novelas.

What are some other changes you're making on the advertising side?
We are trying to find ways to get closer to our clients and make them
more involved in the process. We weren't getting enough client input. Many of
our clients are not located in New York, so we needed to find a way to spread
out across the country more. We added significant ad staff to the Midwest and
West Coast. In November, we hired Rosy Marin as senior VP of regional ad sales.
She was previously with Univision and is based in Los Angeles. She oversees
network sales for all Telemundo Media regional offices and her teams in L.A.,
Chicago and Dallas will sell Telemundo, mun2 and all digital and mobile
properties to national advertisers. Mike Alvarez is our senior VP, East Coast
sales, who oversees our New York and Miami sales teams. Christine Escribano,
our VP of integrated marketing solutions, handles all advertising sales beyond
30-second spots, including our branded entertainment and all live promotions
and marketing our clients want to do outside of television, like red carpet
event advertising. And most recently, we've started a New Business Group.

How does the New Business Group work?
We initiated it in January. What we did was to merge our local sales
teams with our national selling team so that they can more easily coordinate
and work on bringing in new clients together rather than making calls
separately. It avoids duplication of pitches and it allows each sales person to
gain more expertise across all of our platforms. The goal is to try to bring in
new clients both into Hispanic television and into Telemundo.

There is so much room for growth. Total media spending on
Hispanic broadcast TV is $2.5 billion a year, while advertisers spend $65
billion on English-language television. We need to collaborate more, even with
Univision, to get new advertisers into Hispanic TV in general.

How does meshing the sales teams work?
If a client is in Chicago but their buying agency is in New York, in
the past, our national sales people would talk to the agency in New York and
then fly to Chicago to meet with the client. Now our Chicago office calls on
the client in Chicago, our sales people in New York meet with the agency there,
and they then coordinate their efforts. The same situation holds true for movie
studios, most of which are in Los Angeles but their agencies are in New York.
It simplifies the system. In regard to the movie studios, two months ago, I
hired Brian McGarry, who was director of MTV's West Coast sales, to the newly-created
position of director of entertainment advertising and marketing for Telemundo.
The movie category is prime for growth with us.

Any other changes?
We have increased our support staff significantly and have recently
done a complete analysis of our internal systems. A lot of it might be boring
to describe, but we are upgrading our back-shop electronics to improve
trafficking of ads and billing to make everything more efficient for our
clients. And we will continue to expand and evolve our sales staff,
particularly in the area of sports.

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