Turner Broadcast Ad Veteran Yaccarino To Head NBCU Cable, Digital Sales

Linda Yaccarino, who left her role as SVP/COO of Turner Entertainment Ad Sales & Marketing and Acquisitions after 18 years last week, is quickly resurfacing at NBCUniversal (NSDQ: CMCSA), where she will lead digital and cable ad sales. The announcement also solves a bit of intrigue, as her departure curiously coincided with the exit of longtime Comcast ad sales vet Dave Cassaro last week, as NBCU confirms that Yaccarino will be replacing him.

Yaccarino will be responsible for all cable entertainment and digital advertising sales for the company, including USA, Syfy, Bravo Media, E! Entertainment, Oxygen Media, Style, G4, Sprout, Chiller, Cloo and their respective digital platforms. Additionally Yaccarino will oversee the sales efforts for NBC.com, AccessHollywood.com, NBCSports.com, NBCOlympics.com and GolfChannel.com and the stand alone digital businesses DailyCandy, Swirl, Fandango, iVillage and Television Without Pity.

She will report jointly to Bonnie Hammer, Chairman, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment & Cable Studios, and Lauren Zalaznick, Chairman, NBCUniversal Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media.

Yaccarino is known by media buyers as a tenacious ad seller. The new post gives her a good deal more power than what she had accumulated over her nearly two decades with Turner, where she worked under ad sales head David Levy. Now that Comcast and NBCU have put a number of their content pieces into place, Yaccarino will be overseeing a long list of shows and digital properties.

While ad sales forecasts have continued to predict a healthy rise as audiences and advertisers continue to migrate to cable. ZenithOptimedia’s forecast calls for cable to grow 12 percent this year and 10 percent in 2012, while Magna Global says that national cable networks should gain 12.4 percent in 2011 and outpacing nearly every local category, including local online media.