Arjan Dijk, the chief marketing officer of Booking.com, said that “it’s looking like a buyers market this year.” And Kelly Metz, the managing director of advanced TV at Omnicom Media Group, said ad buyers responded to how their “clients are feeling and doing and faring, and there are some significant economic headwinds.”
NBCUniversal has gone through a particularly chaotic stretch in recent weeks. In late April, NBCUniversal’s chief executive was dismissed for inappropriate conduct. And late last week, Linda Yaccarino, NBCUniversal’s advertising chief and longtime upfront master of ceremonies, abruptly left the company to become the chief executive of Twitter.
Ms. Yaccarino had been in rehearsals for this year’s upfront as late as Thursday until Elon Musk tweeted that he had hired a new chief executive for Twitter. NBCUniversal announced on Friday that she was leaving, effective immediately, sending the company scrambling to rework the event.
At the NBCUniversal upfront, the strike’s effect was apparent from the get-go. The gatherings are usually star-studded events, but with many actors and celebrities refusing to cross picket lines, the company turned to its news division for help. The “Morning Joe” host Willie Geist made an introduction for a “Saturday Night Live” trailer. And Stephanie Ruhle of MSNBC previewed the company’s upcoming lineup of dramas.