Now that Viacom’s modest upfront advertising deals are completed, the TV company’s most senior advertising sales executive, Jeff Lucas, has departed -- a move that was expected, according to many reports.
Lucas, who was head of advertising sales and marketing, will be replaced by Sean Moran, who will have the title of head of marketing and partner solutions for Viacom Ad Sales. Moran has been with Viacom for 20 years, most recently as executive vp of national brand sales.
Lucas, a 10-year Viacom veteran, is joining social media company Snapchat as vp of advertising sales. He will leave Viacom this summer. Snapchat struck a major partnership with Viacom earlier this year -- looking to tap into Viacom's young TV/media users.
Moran will oversee Viacom's Music & Entertainment and Kids & Family networks: MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, Spike, Logo, Nickelodeon, TV Land and CMT.
May, rumors abounded that Lucas was leaving Viacom -- seemingly right in the middle of the upfront selling period.
Viacom was one of the first TV companies to complete its upfront advertising deal-making in early June.
But versus double-digit percentage price gains in the cost-per-thousand viewers that other networks -- broadcast and cable -- subsequently grabbed, Viacom posted modest 7% increases for many of its cable networks, according to media-buying executives -- A year ago, Viacom posted 3% to 4% gains in CPMs during the upfront period.
In recent years, many Viacom networks have seen challenging times with lower viewership -- as well as complaints over TV commercial clutter, which the networks have since looked to rectify.
All these senior-level changes are occurring as blistering battles continue to rage between Viacom’s controlling shareholder, National Amusements, and Viacom board members and its chairman/chief executive officer Philippe Dauman.