Lawenda leads Univision ad sales

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NEW YORK -- Spanish-language media firm Univision Communications Inc. has restructured its advertising sales operation with a focus on fully integrated buys and has named ad veteran David Lawenda to head sales across all its units.

Lawenda fills the new position of president of advertising sales. Dennis McCauley and Tom McGarrity, co-presidents of advertising sales for the Univision Networks, are resigning, effective Sept. 30, the company said.

Lawenda most recently was senior vp at Viacom Inc.'s MTV Networks unit, where he was responsible for sales for VH1, VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul, Logo and the N.

Based in New York and reporting to Univision CEO Joe Uva, Lawenda will oversee advertising sales for all of Univision's media assets, including, among others, the Univision, TeleFutura and Galavision networks, Univision Radio and Univision Online.

Univision said a top priority for Lawenda will be to help brands "connect with Hispanic consumers by developing customized integrated marketing programs that harness the full power of Univision's portfolio."

Said Uva: "David is a terrific executive with an industrywide reputation as a motivational and creative leader, as well as a demonstrated track record of exceeding sales goals, increasing advertiser bases and developing groundbreaking cross-platform initiatives."

During his tenure at Viacom, Lawenda's team helped launch Spike TV, among other things.

The executive said Tuesday that he has been following the explosive growth of the Latino media space. "What I find especially striking is the passionate connections that Univision's audiences have with each of the company's media outlets," Lawenda said. "I believe there's a significant opportunity to provide marketers with the ability to access this desirable audience across all of Univision's assets in one holistic dialogue."

McCauley and McGarrity will serve as consultants to Univision for a transition period.

"Dennis and Tom have been integral parts of the Univision family for more than a decade, and their contributions to the growth and success of this organization cannot be overstated," said Uva, adding that they approached him a few months ago and expressed their desire to move on to the next stage of their careers. "We would like to thank them for their unwavering dedication to Univision and wish them all the best. We will miss them but understand their decision, which had nothing to do with the restructuring of the ad sales function."
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