Charlie Thurston serves as the President for Comcast Spotlight. He joined Comcast Spotlight in 2002 and is responsible for leading a team of 3,600 employees in local, regional and national advertising sales that generated approximately $2.3 billion in gross revenue in 2012. Comcast Spotlight is in more than 80 TV markets, including 20 of the top 25. Comcast Spotlight sells the local advertising slots on more than 50 cable networks (ESPN, CNN, CNBC, History Channel, etc), as well as banners and videos on Internet sites (including XFINITY.com and others).
Comcast Spotlight built interconnects in more than 60 markets, joining over 5 million affiliated subscribers from Time Warner, Charter, Cox and BrightHouse. Over the past several years, Comcast Spotlight and NCC Media have reached landmark deals with Verizon (for FiOS), AT&T (for U-verse TV) and DIRECTV to represent those companies for local spot advertising sales in a total of 33 Comcast Spotlight markets. Similar deals were previously inked to sell the Regional Sports Network inventory for DIRECTV and DISH Network in multiple markets.
Comcast Spotlight is also a pioneer in the new advanced advertising capabilities for television. New products include interactive television (iTV) advertising, dynamic ad insertion in video-on-demand programming and interactive iGuide banners that movie studios and programmers now regularly utilize.
Prior to joining Comcast Spotlight, Charlie was President/CEO of Adlink, the Los Angeles digital interconnect. Hired as Adlink's General Sales Manager in 1989, Charlie was promoted to Vice President of Sales/Marketing in 1991, and then to President/CEO in 1992. Adlink grew from a startup with $750K in revenue in 1988 to $138 million by 2000 and is considered the blueprint for cable interconnects.
His experience spans 32 years in the cable industry. He was General Manager of Continental Cablevision’s Cable Advertising Division from 1986-1989. Prior to that, his career included launching advertising sales for Cablevision Systems in New York, Connecticut and Boston. His career began in 1980 selling cable television subscriptions door-to-door.
Originally from Rye, NY, Charlie holds a B.A. degree from Williams College, 1980, where he also competed in baseball and football. He attended the Haas School of Business’s Advanced Management Program at U.C. Berkeley, and is a member of YPO (Young Presidents Organization).
Charlie was recognized by Inc Magazine as an Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist in the category of Communications in 1995 and Technology in 1996, and was the recipient of The Silver Bell Award from the Ad Council in 2005. He serves on the Board of Directors of NCC Media and the Advertising Council, and he is the former Chairman of the Board for The Cable Advertising Bureau (CAB). Charlie is also an avid participant in SkiTAM, which aids The Olympic Disabled Ski Team. Charlie is married with a son and a daughter.