Turner Broadcasting veteran Linda Yaccarino is expected to take a senior advertising sales post at Comcast's NBCUniversal, where veteran ad sales executive David Cassaro announced Monday that he would be leaving the company.
Turner announced Monday that Yaccarino, whose contract as executive VP for sales for Turner Entertainment Networks is expiring, would be leaving the company to "pursue new professional opportunities."
An NBCU spokesperson had no comment.
Ad sales executives speculated that Yaccarino had been seeking a bigger job than the one she had at Turner, and that at NBCU she would have an opportunity to oversee both broadcast and cable, a role that has been vacant since General Electric veteran Mike Pilot left the company following the acquisition by Comcast from GE . The New York Post reported that Yaccarino would be in charge of cable sales, essentially replacing Cassaro.
Cassaro, who was in charge of ad sales for Comcast's cable networks including E!, Versus and the Golf Channel before the cable operator acquired NBCU, was put in charge of the combined companies cable portfolio in January.
During the upfront, Cassaro led NBCU Cable to some of the biggest gains in volume and pricing in the industry.
Cassaro addressed his staff in a meeting late Monday where he was praised by Bonnie Hammer and Lauren Zalaznick, the executives who run NBC's cable operations. He did not provide a reason for a departure or talk about what he planned to do next, according to one person who attended the meeting.
Ad sales sources however said that the management structure in which he reported to both Hammer and Zalaznick was difficult, because the two executives are rivals. Cassaro had been expected to re-organized the combined sales organization -- that task was never completed.