Linda Yaccarino, who joined Turner in 1993 and rose to head sales and acquisitions for the entertainment group, is leaving the company. An internal memo said she is departing to pursue other opportunities. Part of her title since 2009 has included a COO role.
She may be interested in becoming a CEO.
Yaccarino leads ad sales and acquisitions for TNT, TBS and truTV as executive vice president and COO of ad sales and acquisitions, reporting to both David Levy and Steve Koonin.
The smart and vivacious Yaccarino has spearheaded Turner’s TV in Context initiative that partly looks to better match advertising with a show’s content. In 2008, Yaccarino was involved in Turner's decision to place TNT and TBS more on par with broadcast networks by moving their upfront presentation to the week traditionally held by broadcasters.
“Linda has led one of the industry’s most dynamic and creative sales teams and, together, they have delivered outstanding results both for our advertising partners and for our company,” wrote Levy in an internal Turner memo.
For the time being, Yaccarino’s sales duties will be overseen by Levy, who heads sales, distribution and sports for all Turner units. Her acquisitions role will be taken over by Koonin, president of the Turner entertainment networks.
Turner’s sales organization has leaders in five areas. Yaccarino led the three entertainment networks. Other executives headed CNN, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, sports and digital. Those four are expected to remain in those posts. All four report to Levy.
Levy wrote that Yaccarino’s leaving "creates an opportunity for us to review and refine the operating models” for the sales and acquisitions roles she held.
Yaccarino joined Turner in the syndication division in 1993, before it was owned by Time Warner. She left the company in 1996 to go to CNBC, returning the next year to become vice president and sales manager for entertainment sales.