ABC National TV Taps OConnell As President, Heads O&O Ad Sales

Debra OConnell is the new president of ABC National Television Ad Sales, succeeding John Watkins, who recently announced his retirement after a long tenure at the top TV station group advertising post.

OConnell, a 17-year veteran of ABC, will be responsible for eight ABC-owned stations -- New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno, as well as their respective digital platforms. In addition, she will have oversight on the Live Well Network, ABC Regional Sports & Entertainment Sales.

Previously, she was senior vice president of ad sales for ABC National Television Sales. She has been at the post for three years. Before that, she was vice president of multimedia sales and marketing for ABC from 2006 to 2011.

Previously, OConnell was vice president of marketing at WABC-TV New York, and also worked at ABC Radio -- her first post at ABC in 1999. Prior to ABC, she worked as an account executive at Liberty Broadcasting.

Announcing the appointment, Rebecca Campbell, president of ABC Owned Television Stations Group, stated that OConnell's  “excellent reputation within the advertising industry, as well as her vision for the future of the division, are a huge asset for our company."
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