Progress is being made implementing automation technology for multiplatform buying, but challenges with measurement remain. L-r: Rob Weisbord, Sinclair Broadcast Group; Tracy Chavez, Publicis; moderator Paige Albiniak; and Media Monitors’ Philippe Generali. (Alyssa Wesley photo)
For Rob Weisbord, COO and president of broadcast of Sinclair Broadcast Group, the company’s hydra-like assets across linear TV, cable, streaming and digital work in concert by design for ad sales and, shortly down the road, programming. “We have to be prepared to be able to get the entire universe of people consuming audio and video,” he says.
Weisbord, who has been the company’s president of broadcast and chief advertising revenue officer since 2020, will continue to report to Chris Ripley, president and chief executive officer.
Executives from NBCUniversal Local (Frank Comerford, above), Tegna, Sinclair and Hearst told a TVNewsCheck webinar they’re bedeviled by persistent gaps in the available buying/selling pipeline, which have bogged down the transaction process and added to their expenses. Those woes are leading some broadcasters to bring more of their automated functions in house.
Executives from Tegna, Sinclair, NBCU stations and Hearst will evaluate the industry’s progress towards automating key elements of the spot TV buying and selling process in a TVNewsCheck Working Lunch webinar on May 19. Register here.
Rob Weisbord becomes president of local news and marketing services division on Jan. 1, while Steven Marks, EVP and chief operating officer of Sinclair’s TV Group will retire at year’s end.
Developers of the software or platforms that make automated spot sales possible will be demanding a small percentage of the business they handle, possibly up to 1.5%. With broadcasters’ ringing up several billion in national spot sales each year, the automation fees could quickly run into tens of millions of dollars.
The station group moves up Rob Weisbord from SVP, chief operating officer of Sinclair Digital Group. He will be responsible for “developing, executing and leading sales and revenue growth strategies and initiatives for broadcasting, digital, advanced revenue and all networks sales.”
Driving the addressable TV market’s growth, which some estimates put at 50% this year, is advertisers’ satisfaction with their campaigns there. Michael Bologna, president of One2one Media, estimates about 54 million U.S. TV households currently have the necessary technology for such ad insertion. Another 30 million-40 million televisions are expected by year’s end.
Three legacy media executives at the Borrell Associates’ Local Online Advertising Conference in New York Monday shared what they believe were sure-fire signs of impending digital failure. Among them: Selling just time or space, salespeople need to be omni-market; not reaching for viewers on all devices; over-reliance on display advertising and ignoring pay walls.
Media businesses must evolve to meet the needs of their changing marketplace. Most media brands seem to be expanding their sense of self-identity from that of a single medium, a TV station for example, to that of a content-driven communications organization. This evolution allows media companies to provide advertisers with integrated, cross-platform solutions that are both more efficient and more effective in delivering the right audiences to their marketing campaigns.