CNN names Phil Nelson executive vice president of CNNIC

CNN Worldwide has promoted Phil Nelson as executive vice president of CNN International Commercial, where he will lead the network’s international business operations and its work with commercial partners outside of the United States.

Nelson will be responsible for all international advertising sales, content sales & licensing and commercial distribution revenue, as well as related client solutions functions including the Create brand studio and world-class digital and data operations.

In this role, Nelson will work alongside its partners across the Warner Bros. Discovery business including CNN International’s distribution strategy and collaboration on digital operations and ad sales to provide more opportunities for brand partners to access news and other genres across the portfolio.

He joins CNN Worldwide’s leadership team and will report to the group executive vice president of business operations & strategy, Chris Marlin.

He previously served as chief operating officer since 2019, where he led operational and international growth initiatives while managing advertising sales support functions. In that time he put in place the framework for CNNIC’s Audience First ad sales strategy, took CNN content onto new platforms, and grew the portfolio of CNN’s international affiliate business with broadcasters and publishers around the world as well as its commercial distribution footprint with hotels and airlines.

He has contributed to major initiatives at CNNIC such as the introduction of CNN International onto Connected TV platforms in Europe, the launch of the CNN Apparel business in Asia, licensing the rights to Great Big Story, and the expansion of the CNN branded channel portfolio with additions including CNN Brasil, CNN Prima News and CNN Portugal.

Prior to CNN, Nelson was managing director at Turner for North Asia and South East Asia Pacific where he joined the company in 2010.

Other key hires to CNN executive leadership team include Cathy Ibal who was named senior vice president for advertising sales, Rob Bradley as SVP for digital revenue, strategy & operation and James Hunt as SVP for global client solutions.

“CNNIC has an incredible track record in unlocking value for both CNN and our commercial partners across a wide range of sectors,” said Nelson. “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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