The company expands sales team and returns to general network spot advertising.
Ion Media Networks today announced several strategic initiatives, including the expansion of its sales team and its return to the general network spot advertising market, to drive the company’s topline growth.
Based on recent content initiatives and new partnerships, Ion said it has executed a diversified revenue strategy that focuses on five areas: general network spot advertising, which the company identifies as a key growth segment; direct response; network long form; local long form; and content revenue sharing relationships.
“Expanding our revenue mix and pursuing more lucrative revenue sources is a top priority for the company in 2007,” said Brandon Burgess, Ion president and CEO. “As we introduce new content and continue to improve the ratings on our network, we believe our re-entry into the general network spot market will provide important revenue and value enhancement for the company.”
“We are fortunate to have assembled a strong team of experienced TV professionals to lead the company’s sales efforts,” said Stephen Appel, Ion’s president of sales and marketing. “We’ve hit the ground running with exciting new content and programming partnerships to talk about in 2007 and look forward to participating in this year’s scatter market and 2007-08 upfront.”
Through a series of promotions and new hires, Ion has organized its sales team under Appel’s leadership to manage the company’s revenue initiatives.
Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â· Lee Warpack has been promoted from regional vice president to vice president network sales, West Coast. Warpack will oversee network spot sales for the company’s flagship network out of Ion’s Los Angeles office.
Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â· Greg Scordato has recently joined Ion as account manager for network sales out of New York. Prior to joining Ion, Scordato was an account executive for CBS/UPN sales from 2001 to 2006.
Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â· Robert Mons has been named senior vice president of network sales for Ion’s health and wellness programming platform. Previously, Mons was director of sales and business development for The Patient Channel, where he was instrumental in the creation of the network and its growth into the largest hospital-based consumer health network in the United States.
Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â· JoAnn Levey, senior vice president of national long-form sales, will continue to oversee the company’s network/national and cable long-form paid programming sales.
Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â· Carol Holzhauer has been promoted from regional vice president to senior vice president of local long-form sales, overseeing all-long form sales for Ion’s 60 owned and operated stations.
Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â· Les Abrams, vice president of direct response sales, will continue to oversee all direct response sales for the company.
Ion has re-entered the general network advertising market with a new slate of programming. It says that season-to-date, average weekday prime is up 24%, and weekend movies are up 58% compared to the first two quarters of 2006.