Publicis Groupe’s MediaVest has promoted Christine Merrifield to president, video investment and activation, MediaVest USA, effective immediately. She replaces agency veteran Donna Speciale, who took a top ad sales post at Turner Broadcasting System.
Merrifield’s promotion is effective immediately, and Speciale will leave the agency later this month. The transition at MediaVest is expected to be a smooth one, given the fact that Merrifield has been Speciale’s No. 2 for the last two-and-a-half years. Merrifield has led the buying team and TV upfront negotiations as EVP, video investment and activation during that time, reporting to Speciale.
Merrifield was recruited to MediaVest seven years ago by Speciale from MediaCom, where the latter worked before shifting to MediaVest.
In her new role, Merrifield will oversee all aspects of video investment and activation across broadband, broadcast, cable, local and out-of-home, as well as investment operations. She will also continue to serve on the agency’s executive team and report to agency CEO Bill Tucker.
Tucker stated that the promotion would further "leverage her expertise driving scale, efficiencies and impact for our clients."
Merrifield noted that she has worked for Speciale in different stints for 15 years and has worked very closely with her on the buy side of the TV marketplace. "People used to joke that there's a dollar bill between us and that's it. I'm fortunate to have such a strong, professional and talented mentor."
Speciale has been named president, Turner entertainment and animation ad sales as part of a series of organizational changes that TBS announced Friday. Turner said the changes are designed to “more closely align and integrate operating fucntions within each of the sale business units” of the Time Warner-owned operation.
In her new role at Turner, Speciale will lead ad sales for the company’s entertainment, kids' and youth networks, including TBS, TNT, truTV, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. Turner also said it would have a new yet-to-named executive vice president of sales promotions and marketing. This post will oversee all sales marketing and promotions for Turner’s linear and digital divisions.