BY SHIRLEY BRADY Sean Cunningham, EVP/managing director at global media agency Universal McCann, takes over as president and CEO at the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau on June 23. He replaces Joe Ostrow, who is retiring but will be staying on board as a consultant to CAB. Cunningham says the CAB board made him an offer he couldn’t pass up. He has managed Universal McCann’s New York office — with $6 billion annually in billings, major accounts such as Sony and Maytag, and a 165-person team — since 2000. “What tempted me [to take this job] was the overwhelming success of the cable sector,” he says. “It’s hard to point to anything in the media-selling equation that has got more momentum right now than national and local cable.” Meeting with the CAB board only sealed the deal. “We were speaking a common language with respect to how compelling the proposition is for both the recent track record and the long-term potential, both nationally and locally, for cable.” His experience on the buying side also drove home the importance of cable. “I’ve seen cable become a larger and larger selling instrument, whether it’s brand or retail or a share war,” he says. “Cable has powerhouse national brands in the ones that have become American icons, such as ESPN, CNN, MTV, Nickelodeon, and it’s got a very deep relationship at the local level with the viewer…and I can’t wait to take it to the market.”

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