CNN Worldwide has appointed Phil Nelson to lead the network’s international business operations and its work with commercial partners outside of the United States.
As Executive Vice President of CNN International Commercial (CNNIC), Nelson is responsible for all international Advertising Sales, Content Sales & Licensing, and Commercial Distribution revenue, as well as related client solutions functions including the award-winning Create brand studio and world-class digital and data operations.
In this role, Nelson also works with partners across the Warner Bros. Discovery business on areas such as 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.
Nelson becomes part of CNN Worldwide’s leadership team and reports to the network’s Group Executive Vice President of Business Operations & Strategy, Chris Marlin.
As CNNIC’s Chief Operating Officer since 2019, Nelson 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.
Major initiatives in Nelson’s time at CNNIC to date include 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 joining CNN, Nelson was Managing Director, of Turner North Asia and South East Asia Pacific, overseeing all aspects of Turner’s business in these regions. He had previously held other business development and strategic planning roles at Turner since joining in 2010 and has significant digital experience from his time at AOL, where he was Managing Director for AOL Asia.
In addition, Nelson holds an MBA from Harvard University and, prior to entering the corporate sector, was a commander in the US Navy.