McClatchy boosts advertising sales team with new digital leadership


McClatchy has added two new leaders to its advertising team as it continues to transform its sales operation and connect partners to McClatchy's iconic local brands. Holden Berlin was named head of strategic sales and Alison Leuthold was named head of strategic planning and revenue operations.

"I'm delighted to bring these accomplished digital advertising leaders to McClatchy to build on the strength of our new advertising organization," said Nick Johnson, head of advertising at McClatchy.

McClatchy also announced the expansion of responsibilities for two veteran executives: Kim Nussbaum, head of sales projects and business transformation, will broaden her strategic focus to drive innovation and new streams of revenue growth and Rodney Mahone will lead the newly-created Local accounts channel across McClatchy in addition to his role as publisher of The Charlotte Observer, The (Columbia) State, The (Hilton Head) Island Packet, Beaufort Gazette and The (Rock Hill) Herald.

Bringing on Berlin and Leuthold are part of a strategic restructuring of McClatchy's advertising team, as well as the company's functional organizational structure. The new channel structure transitions McClatchy's advertising operation away from its previous legacy model and ensures the team places digital growth at its core, working as efficiently as possible to serve as an effective partner to its clients.

Holden Berlin has held senior leadership positions in sales and marketing at multiple media companies including NBCUniversal, Conde Nast and He spent more than five years at the digital media company Defy Media (previously known as Break Media) where he led the company's branded content and large-scale programming initiatives. At McClatchy, Berlin will drive new and incremental revenue from selected high-growth opportunities and verticals.

"Holden is going to have a dramatic impact on our strategy," said Johnson. "He's poised to drive higher volume deals in the strategic channel and further-integrate solutions and fulfillment across the advertising division via excelerateTM, McClatchy's digital marketing agency."

Alison Leuthold manages a McClatchy team of sales planners and advertising analysts and oversees digital/print strategic planning, pricing, inventory management and digital product strategy. Leuthold is also responsible for enhancing standardization – finding commonalities and driving consistency across regions to enable company-wide key performance indicators.

Prior to joining McClatchy, Leuthold held various leadership positions at NBCUniversal Media over the course of 13 years. As senior director of sales strategy and partnerships, she led the launch, go-to-market strategy and execution of NBCUniversal's ad sales content and distribution partnerships – including those with YouTube, BuzzFeed, Vox Media and Oath. Leuthold also held a number of roles in both digital ad sales planning and digital account management in the Entertainment, Finance and Sports divisions of NBCUniversal.

"Ali hit the ground running as head of strategic planning and revenue operations and I'm thoroughly impressed by her leadership," said Johnson. "She's already developed strong partnerships within her team and with our clients and we're thrilled to have her onboard at this critical time in our company's digital transformation."

Nussbaum's newly expanded role leverages her expertise in leading strategic initiatives that accelerate the company's digital transformation, creating new revenue streams and operational efficiencies. She has led the evolution of an internal advertising sales training program into a revenue-producing business line serving the publishing industry – Blueprint – and conceptualized the centralization of classified lines of business to serve customers across the enterprise and brought it to fruition. "Kim's depth of industry knowledge and incredible strategic focus will drive new revenue and has made a strong impact on our work," said Johnson.

A veteran advertising and publishing executive for nearly three decades at McClatchy, Mahone expands his leadership portfolio to include the newly-created Local accounts channel serving clients across McClatchy's 30 markets in addition to his role as publisher of five local news brands in the Carolinas and Georgia. "We're excited to expand Rodney's role to scale his leadership and expertise and serve local clients," commented Johnson. "Rodney's vision for connecting brands to strong, independent local journalism and focus on revenue growth reflects how our new channel structure will drive revenue and create efficiencies across all of our markets," added Johnson.

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