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CBS Taps Facebook Executive for Digital Ad Push

Aug 3, 2017
CBS Corp. has tapped a former Facebook marketing executive for a senior post as part of a restructuring of its advertising sales unit aimed at capturing more revenue from digital platforms.

David Lawenda, who was head of U.S. global marketing solutions at Facebook until March, will become executive vice president of digital sales and sales strategy for CBS Corp. Jo Ann Ross, longtime head of CBS ad sales has been promoted to president and chief revenue officer as part of the restructuring.

The hire of Mr. Lawenda is part of a broader push at CBS to monetize the growing portion of its audience that is consuming content on platforms other than its traditional broadcast network. As more viewing is happening away from linear television, networks fear money is being left on the table.

In the recently concluded television season, the audience for CBS’s entertainment programming grew an average of 53% per series over the initial telecast when viewing from video-on-demand and digital video recorders during a 35-day window are factored in, according to Nielsen.

However, standard advertising sales don’t cover that delayed viewing and on-demand online viewing isn’t part of the ratings currency used in ad deals.”

“Right now the main metric being used to sell advertising does not take into account millions of viewers who are watching our programming on a delayed basis, and on new platforms,” said CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves. “There is a huge opportunity here, and it’s why realigning our sales force is so important.”

In announcing the hire, Mr. Moonves said he is counting on Mr. Lawenda to “accelerate our multi-platform sales effort” and help “position CBS for maximum growth as viewer habits continue to change.”

“We saw this as an opportunity to get one strong voice in the marketplace,” said Ms. Ross. “We’re bringing in David to lead us forward, he will bring new ideas and strategies.” Mr. Lawenda, reports to Ms. Ross.

CBS is not the only network rethinking its approach to advertising and looking for executives with digital savvy to help guide those efforts. In May, 21st Century Fox tapped Joe Marchese, a digital advertising veteran, as president of advertising revenue for its Fox Networks Group.

In recent years, Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal unit and Walt Disney Co.’s Disney/ABC TV unit have restructured their advertising units as well in an effort to both increase digital revenue and better coordinate digital and traditional sale efforts.

Prior to spending four years at Facebook, Mr. Lawenda was president of advertising sales and marketing at Spanish-language broadcaster Univision. He is not a complete unknown within the halls CBS, as he also spent many years in various sales roles at Viacom Inc. when CBS was a unit there.

Write to Joe Flint at

CBS All Access - Star Trek Trailer

Jul 22, 2017
SAN DIEGO – JULY 22, 2017 --  Earlier today at Comic-Con International, fans from around the world were given a sneak peek at the new series trailer for STAR TREK: DISCOVERY during  a panel with cast and creatives from the series.  The newest edition of the Star Trek franchise is set to premiere in the U.S. on CBS All Access Sunday, Sept. 24, following a broadcast premiere on the CBS Television Network.

The STAR TREK: DISCOVERY panel, moderated by series guest star Rainn Wilson (“Harry Mudd”), featured a conversation with cast members including Sonequa Martin-Green (“First Officer Michael Burnham”), Jason Isaacs (“Captain Gabriel Lorca”), Doug Jones (“Lt. Saru”), Shazad Latif (“Lt. Ash Tyler”), Mary Wiseman (“Cadet Sylvia Tilly”), Anthony Rapp (“Lt. Paul Stamets”) and James Frain (“Ambassador Sarek”). They were joined by executive producers Alex Kurtzman, Gretchen J. Berg, Aaron Harberts, Heather Kadin and Akiva Goldsman.


STAR TREK: DISCOVERY will follow the voyages of Starfleet on their missions to discover new worlds and new life forms, and one Starfleet officer who must learn that to truly understand all things alien, you must first understand yourself. The series will feature a new ship and new characters while embracing the same ideology and hope for the future that inspired a generation of dreamers and doers.

The series will premiere on the CBS Television Network Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017 with all subsequent episodes available on CBS All Access, the Network’s digital subscription video on demand and live streaming service, and will be distributed concurrently by CBS Studios International on Netflix in 188 countries and in Canada on Bell Media’s Space channel and OTT service CraveTV. STAR TREK: DISCOVERY is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout, Bryan Fuller’s Living Dead Guy Productions and Roddenberry Entertainment. Alex Kurtzman, Bryan Fuller, Heather Kadin, Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts, Akiva Goldsman, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth serve as executive producers.


CBS All Access is the CBS Television Network’s digital subscription video on-demand and live streaming service. In addition to its original series, which also includes season one of the new edition of “The Good Wife,” THE GOOD FIGHT, CBS All Access gives CBS fans the ability to watch more than 9,000 episodes on demand – spanning current shows from primetime, daytime and late night, as well as past seasons of select series and classic TV hits. CBS All Access is currently available online at, on mobile devices via the CBS App for iOS, Android and Windows 10, and on Roku Players, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android TV, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Fire TV. 

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