Phil Nelson to Lead CNN’s International Business Operations, Cathy Ibal, Rob Bradley, James Hunt Elevated (EXCLUSIVE)

Phil Nelson will lead CNN Worldwide’s international business operations and its work with commercial partners outside of the U.S.

Nelson previously served as COO of CNN International Commercial (CNNIC) from 2019. In the new position of executive VP, CNNIC, he becomes part of CNN Worldwide’s leadership team and reports into the network’s group executive VP of business operations and strategy, Chris Marlin. Nelson is now responsible for all international advertising sales, content sales and licensing and commercial distribution revenue, as well as related client solutions functions including the Create brand studio and digital and data operations.

In this role, Nelson also works with partners across the Warner Bros. Discovery business on areas such as CNN International’s distribution strategy and collaboration on digital operations and ad sales. Prior to joining CNN, Nelson was managing director, Turner north Asia and southeast Asia Pacific.

CNN has also elevated key management personnel. Cathy Ibal, with CNN since 2001, who was most recently head of CNN International’s advertising sales for EMEA and North America, has been named senior VP, advertising sales, to oversee all of CNN’s international advertising sales.

Rob Bradley, who has been at CNN since 2015, is appointed senior VP, digital revenue, strategy and operations, with a remit that includes everything related to the digital ecosystem for CNNIC – revenue, operations and commercial strategy. Bradley is also part of the CNN Digital leadership team and will lead CNNIC’s collaboration with WBD’s international business operations on digital projects.

James Hunt, who has been at CNN since 2016, responsible for the Create group (brand studio, marketing and events), is named senior VP, global client solutions. CNNIC’s capabilities in creative, data, revenue strategy and client services are all being brought into one unit and will include a joined up offering for partners across Create and the audiences and data unit along with client servicing, events and strategy functions.

Chris Licht, chair and chief executive of CNN Worldwide, said: “For journalism to flourish, it’s imperative that we have a robust effective commercial operation to fund the work that CNN does around the world every single day. To that end, I am delighted that Phil and his executive team are taking the reins at CNNIC to lead us into a new era of working with our commercial partners.”

Nelson added: “As we look to the future, we are creating new ways for partners to work with CNN that enable advertisers to engage with our audiences wherever they consume CNN and for broadcasters, publishers, Out of Home partners and platforms to access and leverage our world-renowned content and journalism. In a fast-changing media landscape, we are combining the best of CNN’s content and commercial offering in an innovative way that reflects client and market needs as well as audience expectations.”

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