ABC Ent. duo get boosted to exec vps

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NEW YORK -- ABC Entertainment has promoted Michael Benson and Marla Provencio to executive vps marketing. They will continue to jointly oversee all marketing and promotion and will be responsible for the brand positioning and identity of ABC Entertainment.

"This is a well-deserved promotion for Mike and Marla," said ABC Entertainment president Stephen McPherson, who made the announcement Monday. "They have done an amazing job in creating truly unique campaigns for our signature series such as 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Lost,' "Dancing With the Stars' and 'Desperate Housewives,' and played a significant role in making 'Ugly Betty' the most-watched new comedy of the season."

Benson and Provencio, who most recently served as senior vps marketing for ABC Entertainment, were named entertainment marketers of the year in 2005 by Ad Age and also received numerous Promax/BDA awards. They will continue to report to McPherson.

In addition to being responsible for the launch of "Housewives," "Lost," "Grey's" and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," Benson and Provencio created Latino-targeted campaigns for "Housewives" and "Betty." Both series' premieres ranked as the No. 1 show of the evening and time period among Latino viewers watching English-language television, and both executives recently were named among of the top Latino marketers of the year by AdWeek's Marketing y Medios Magazine, ABC Entertainment said.

Benson joined ABC in 1998 from VH1/MTV Networks. Provencio started her career in on-air promotion at ABC in 1979.
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