It’s turning out to be quite a week in the cable TV advertising business. Hours after it was confirmed that a top sales executive was leaving Turner Broadcasting System -- Turner Entertainment Networks sales chief Linda Yaccarino -- MediaPost has learned that Dave Cassaro is out as president of cable advertising sales at Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit.
Given the timing of the two departures, some sources are already speculating that the “new professional opportunity” Yaccarino is leaving Turner (see related story in today's edition) for is a top sales job at NBCUniversal, possibly Cassaro’s former position -- or a long-speculated-on new role that would put her in charge of both NBCU’s cable networks and its flagship broadcast network, NBC.
NBCU would not confirm Cassaro’s departure.
A longtime Comcast cable network sales executive, Cassaro was named president of sales for the consolidated Comcast and NBCU cable networks division last year as Comcast was completing its acquisition of NBCU.
Yaccarino’s departure as executive vice president-COO of Turner Entertainment ad sales and acquisitions was just as surprising, given her equally strong track record.
Cassaro’s departure is notable, since he came from the Comcast side and was known to be close to Comcast executives at the highest level. He began at E! network in 1990, which was a Comcast property that’s now in the NBCU cable group.
His portfolio at NBCU made him one of the most powerful sales executives on Madison Avenue -- certainly in cable, as it stretched from Bravo to USA to the Golf Channel to Versus, in addition to digital properties.