President, Advertising Sales
Joe Abruzzese oversees all advertising sales for Discovery's suite of U.S. networks including Discovery Channel; TLC; Animal Planet; Planet Green; Science Channel; ID: Investigation Discovery; Discovery Health Channel; Discovery Kids; Military Channel; HD Theater; and FitTV, as well as Cox Communications' Travel Channel. He also directs ad sales efforts for Discovery's multiple U.S. digital properties including the recently acquired web properties HowStuffWorks.com, TreeHugger.com and Petfinder.com.
Most recently, Abruzzese spearheaded the sales strategy for the transition of Discovery Home Channel to Planet Green and Discovery Times Channel to Investigation Discovery. He will also oversee advertising sales efforts for OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network (currently Discovery Health Channel) in partnership with Harpo, Inc., which is scheduled to debut in late 2009 or early 2010.
Under Abruzzese's leadership, and per a 2007 Beta Research Advertising Executive Study, the Discovery Communications advertising sales team ranked #1 in overall service, sales representative competence and Upfront presentation.
Before joining Discovery in 2002, Abruzzese held the top sales post at CBS for 11 years, responsible for all network sales efforts on behalf of CBS entertainment, sports, daytime, news, late night, the UPN networks and CBS Internet sales. He restructured and expanded the CBS network sales division, integrated the UPN sales force and quarterbacked landmark deals, most notably the corporate sponsorships necessary to launch the "Survivor" series.
Abruzzese joined CBS in 1980 and held key sales positions in divisions such as daytime, children's, sports and late night before taking the helm for overall network sales. Before joining CBS, he worked for NBC for ten years in sports sales, planning and business affairs. He launched his career in sales at the J. P. Stevens Company in New York.
Among his many industry honors, Abruzzese has been named a "Media Maven" and a "Media All-Star" by Advertising Age and Mediaweek respectively. His civic and industry commitments include board positions on the National Kidney Foundation, Seton Hall Board of Regents, Louis Carr Foundation, Boys Hope Girls Hope and the International Radio and Television Society Foundation, Inc. (IRTS).
A native of Newark, N.J., he earned his bachelor's degree in marketing and finance from Seton Hall University. Abruzzese, a proud father of a son and two daughters, lives with his wife in New York City.