The elevation follows a hectic period last May when Marshall took on new duties on short notice at the NBCU upfront presentation at Radio City Music Hall. Marshall was pressed into service to handle the day’s lead remarks and spearhead the event after his former boss, Linda Yaccarino, abruptly decamped during rehearsals to join Twitter (now X) as CEO.
As interim chairman, Marshall presided over an upfront process yielding cash commitments described by NBCU as “roughly in line” with record-setting 2022 results. The ad market has been turbulent for all sellers of late, with labor strife adding to a cluster of economic stresses. Formerly a process that could be measured in days, the upfront took weeks to be concluded, with most media companies reporting softness.
Marshall hasn’t cut quite as prominent a figure as Yaccarino in industry circles, but he is well-known and widely respected in the world of advertising. He had been president of the NBCU division since 2018, leading ad sales for NBC Broadcast Entertainment, NBC Sports, advanced advertising sales and client partnerships. He previously had been EVP of the Entertainment Advertising Sales Group, overseeing the combined advertising sales for NBC Entertainment, USA, Syfy and WWE.
Before joining NBCUniversal in January 2014, Marshall held multiple advertising sales and sports positions at Turner Broadcasting between 1999 and 2013.
He will report to Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBCUniversal Media Group.
“Mark stepped into this role on an interim basis at one of the most critical times of year for the ad sales business, and over the past three months he has more than proven himself to be the leader NBCU needs to guide this team into the future,” Lazarus said in the official announcement. “Mark’s relationships are second to none, and coupled with his transformative vision, I have no doubt that under his leadership we will continue to reinvent and innovate the sales business while super-serving our clients and partners.”