TV advertising is clearly becoming a top priority for Facebook right now, and the company is getting ready to going all in.
Facebook has now hired David Lawenda, formerly of Univision and Viacom, as its new VP of Global Sales, US, it has been confirmed to VatorNews.
Lawenda, who is taking over the position that was vacated by Tom Arrix in July, will be reporting to Carolyn Everson within the Global Marketing Solutions team at Facebook. Everson held the position on an interum basis after Arrix's departure.
As the new leader of the US sales team at Facebook, Lawenda will be tasked with overseeing sales and marketing relationships with leading brands and agencies in the country.
Prior to his new role, Lawenda spent five years as the President of ad sales at Univision. Before that he spent over 10 years at Viacom, including five years as the SVP of ad sales at MTV. During his time there, he helped launch and brand both SpikeTV and UPN. Lawenda also spent time at Turner Broadcasting.
And it is these connections into the television world that no doubt made Facebook interested in hiring him.
You see, it was recently reported that Facebook is going to start sending out weekly television reports to the big four television networks, ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, along with a few other partners, which are, presumably, cable channels.
The reports that Facebook will be generating will show the networks how much Facebook users are talking about their shows, including how many likes, comments and shares it generates. They will not be made public, but will no doubt be used to convince television networks that Facebook it is now a hub for conversation about their shows, and that they should run be running advertisements along with them.
And there is evidence that Facebook can drive conversations around television shows. The Breaking Bad finale alone generated over 5.5 million conversations by three million people. That's a lot of eyeballs for advertisers to go after.
Given Lawenda's experience, and his connections in this world, it is a clear that Facebook hopes that he will be able to help the company break into television advertising going forward.
"David is a fantastic and proven leader with a deep understanding of how to build brands and drive ROI for brands and agencies. He rebranded and launched networks while at Viacom and changed the way marketers thought about Univision as it moved from a multicultural/Spanish-language marketing tactic to a key marketing partner for some of the largest brands in the world," Everson said in a statement provided to VatorNews.
"Throughout his career he's not only managed and led, but he's brought an entrepreneurial spirit and sense of evangelism to his teams and companies. He knows how to roll up his sleeves and inspire his team, and he's worked closely with the best marketers and agencies across the US."
This news was first reported by Business Insider on Tuesday.