Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sports Media | GM hired to position in new unit

President Tom Beusse just announced that USA Today Sports Media Group had formed USA Today Sports Digital Properties, and hired a general manager to run the new unit.

Digital Properties unites into one ad-selling network the BNQT action sports site, plus recent acquisitions including MMAjunkie and the Big Lead Sports blog network.

Running that will be the newly hired Chris Pirrone, who's coming from Traffic Marketplace. There, he was GM of Premium Display, Mobile and Video Digital Advertising. (People's titles are getting so long.)

Based on his LinkedIn profile, it looks like Pirrone will be based on the Los Angeles office. Dave Morgan, Sports Media Group editor in chief, also works out of that office.

Also of interest: Pirrone has been a practicing attorney; he got his JD from the University of Akron in 1996. (That's a smiling, beer-toting Pirrone on the right in this Lockerz photo.)

Question: Is Pirrone's job a new position or not? I ask because Beusse has done so much hiring in recent months that it's getting hard to tell whether some new hires are in fact replacing ones made in the recent past.


  1. Well, at least, he's not another vice president.

  2. Senior Vice President

  3. We like to mix up the titles every now and then to keep everyone fresh. Next month...Senior Executive Vice General Managers.

    1. Good one. Unfortunately, probably true.

  4. Is Buesse and Sports completely spun off from the rest of the Gannett ad network initiatives that Banikarim is charged with? So confusing.

  5. He'll handle oversight of Purpose Walls, too.

  6. So how close is Buesse to delivering that $300m incremental revenue?

    Yeah, that's what we thought.

  7. Apparently Gannett's idea of incremental growth is in high paid Managers.

  8. Massive sales channel conflict. Clients getting calls from different people at USAT. No communication....everyone out for their own. A mess!

  9. 6:00,
    The new SVP of Pricing and Planning will be looking into that this week and will establish a plan for, ah, pricing.

  10. The biggest story of the day is NBA DRAFT. Yet an hour in, mobil has nothing. WTF???

  11. Wow, I hadn't seen any indication of this coming. Another senior head count...sure, why not? This begs some additional questions:
    - what message does this send to the existing Sports ad sales staff, all of whom are new from this year? Do they not sell digital? If they do sell digital, do they not sell Sports network, including BNQT and BLS - or just Sports?
    - so, all those incorporated Big Lead sales guys who are currently charged with selling print... Do they go back to selling BLS? Or are they being ignored?
    - This Pirrone can assume he'll bring in his own, sure, why not!?
    - if that's the case, we could conceivably have 4 sales people calling on one account: national brand, national brand digital, sports, and sports digital.

    But then again, I'm probably just a negative nelly and not understanding the strategy.

  12. $300 million will never ever happen. No way, no how.

  13. Don't they have enough bosses in the Buesse/Morgan shop already?

  14. Chris Pirrone is a joke and a horrible hire. As GM of Traffic Marketplace he helped run that company into the ground. They went belly up in 2011. He took the Sports Media job because he thought it sounded good on his resume. Don't be surprised when the entire Sports Media group and ultimately all of Gannett fails.


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