Roast Bios

Marianne Gambelli

Chief Investment Officer at Horizon Media

Marianne partners with the senior leadership team to drive all media activation strategies across all channels. Her main priorities are to monetize client investments, seek out new and emerging technologies, develop new media research capabilities, and to develop multi-year and multi-platform media deals. Marianne also leads the creation of new revenue-generating media assets for the agency.

Prior to Horizon, Marianne spent twenty-two years at NBC Universal where she rose rapidly to head up all of NBC Universal’s advertising sales, marketing, strategic planning and multi-platform portfolio development. In this role, she led the strategic allocation of over $7 billion in media investments for NBCU. Marianne began her career on the agency side with Backer Spielvogel Bates and Grey Advertising.

Marianne is a highly recognized and respected industry leader and was recently included in Advertising Age’s List of 100 Most Influential Women in Advertising. A native New Yorker, she graduated from Pace University with a Bachelor of Business degree in Marketing. She currently lives in Westchester with her husband and their two children.


Jo Ann Ross

President, Sales, CBS Television Network

Jo Ann Ross was named President, Sales, CBS Television Network, in October 2002. As the Network’s chief sales executive, she is responsible for all sales for CBS Entertainment, Sports, Daytime, News and Late Night.

Ross was previously Executive Vice President of Sales for CBS since September 1998. As the Unit’s second-highest-ranking executive, she had oversight of all sales for CBS’s primetime schedule. Ross played a major role in creating new ways to sell Network programming, including reality, scripted, news and late-night genres. Perhaps most notably, the creativity behind the sales execution of SURVIVOR has become the industry model for selling reality television.

Ross joined CBS in 1992 as Vice President of Olympic Sales, in charge of Network sales for the Lillehammer Winter Olympics in 1994 and the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998. During this time, Ross also had a hand in sports marketing and special events, as well as primetime and late night sales.

Prior to joining CBS, Ross was with the ABC Network for three years, where she sold daytime before being named a Prime Account Executive. Before that, Ross worked at the media buying firm Bozell, starting as a assistant buyer and working her way up to Senior Vice President, where she ran the network buying department.

Ross was inducted into Broadcasting & Cable’s Hall of Fame in 2013 and has been one of Hollywood Reporter’s “100 Most Powerful Women in Entertainment” for many years running. Additionally she was named the Women in Sports and Entertainment Woman of the Year in 2005, and in September 2002 was named one of Advertising Age’s “Media Mavens,” an annual compilation of the industry’s top media stars.

roast keithKeith Turner

President of Advertising Sales and Marketing at Univision Communications Inc.

Keith Turner is president of Advertising Sales and Marketing at Univision Communications Inc. (UCI), the leading media company serving Hispanic America. In this role, he oversees advertising sales and marketing for the Company’s suite of media offerings, including Univision Network, UniMás Network, Univision Cable Networks, which includes Galavisión, Univision tlnovelas, UDN (Univision Deportes Network), FOROtv, and an additional suite of cable offerings – De Película, De Película Clásico, Bandamax, Ritmoson, and Telehit – as well as UCI Local Media, Digital and El Rey Network, a 24-hour English-language network founded by maverick filmmaker Robert Rodriguez. Turner reports directly to the CEO.

Turner brings more than 30 years of demonstrated success in the media industry. He most recently served as the senior vice president of Media Sales and Sponsorship at the NFL. In that role, Turner oversaw the NFL sponsorship business as well as advertising sales for all NFL media platforms, which include NFL Network,, and NFL Mobile. While there, he spearheaded the return of Anheuser-Busch as an NFL partner after an eight-year hiatus, and struck new partnerships with Marriott, Bose, USAA, and XBOX.

Prior to joining the NFL, Turner spent more than 20 years at NBC where he held various roles, including president of Sales and Marketing, senior vice president of Olympic and Sports Sales, vice president of Olympic and Sports Sales, and vice president of Sport Sales, among other positions. Before NBC, he was an account executive for CBS. Turner began his career at Grey Advertising.

Turner has been recognized by Broadcasting & Cable’s as “13 Names to Know” and honored by The National Kidney Foundation with the Visionary Leader Award. He is a graduate of C.W. Post with a bachelor’s of science in Business Management and Marketing.

SpecialeDonnaDonna Speciale

President of Turner Ad Sales

Donna Speciale is president of Turner Ad Sales, a leadership role that oversees all advertising revenue for the company’s domestic entertainment, news and kids multi-media brands. Based in New York, Speciale reports to David Levy, president of Turner.

Joining Turner in 2012 as president of Turner Entertainment and Young Adult Ad Sales, Speciale made an impact early on by utilizing her agency expertise to redefine client partnerships across the kids and entertainment brands. Since being promoted to her current position in 2014, Speciale has further re-imagined how Turner collaborates with marketers and agencies on advertising partnerships through advanced data and content capabilities. As a believer in developing opportunities and environments that drive business results for partners, she and her team have thrived during a time of vast industry change. Utilizing advanced advertising capabilities powered by industry-leading data and analytics, Turner’s sales division can now equip marketers with a more powerful media strategy, resulting in a robust ROI.

With her more than 20 years of experience on the media agency side, Speciale came to Turner from MediaVest Worldwide, where she served as president, Investment & Activation and Agency Operations. During her tenure, she led the agency’s integrated digital, broadcast, print and out-of-home practice, overseeing investments on behalf of clients including Kraft, Walmart, P&G, and Coca-Cola. Prior to MediaVest, Speciale led the broadcast investment team at Mediacom. Over her career she has managed investments for several leading marketers including Warner Brothers, GlaxoSmithKline, Hasbro, Kmart, Diageo, Staples and Subway.

Speciale is well-known for driving innovation in the marketplace and has received numerous industry recognitions, including recent recognitions by Broadcasting & Cable for their 2015 “Hall of Fame,” TV of Tomorrow NAME OF AWARD and by the ANA FOR AWARD. She has also been recognized as a Adweek ‘50’ (2013-15), Multichannel News “Wonder Woman” (2013), Advertising Age “Top Women in Advertising” (2012), CableFAX “100” (2012-14) and “Most Powerful Women” (2012-15), Television Week “TV Buyer of the Year” (2006), MediaWeek “All Star” in the broadcast category (2003), Advertising Age “Woman to Watch” (2001) and “Agency of the Year” by both AdWeek and Advertising Age (under SMG in 2005). She has thrice been honored by Advertising Women of New York (AWNY): in 2011, she was the recipient of the 2011 AWNY “Advertising Woman of the Year”; in 2008, she was the recipient of AWNY’s “Impact Award;” in 2006, she received an AWNY “Working Woman Award.”, Speciale was honored in 2014 as a recipient of the “Reisenbach Award for Distinguished Citizenship” by the John A. Reisenbach Foundation.

In addition to her professional accolades and active participation as an executive judge with awards like the Adweek “Project Isaac” awards, Speciale is on the Board of Directors for The Advertising Club of New York and an active member of Advertising Women of New York (AWNY) and the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB).

Mel Berning bio picMel Berning

President, Chief Revenue Officer, A+E Networks

Melvin “Mel” Berning was appointed President, Chief Revenue Officer, A+E Networks in September 2014. Previously, Berning held the position of President, Ad Sales, Networks since 2012. In his current role, he oversees all revenue generating efforts and strategies for A+E Networks, including A&E® Network, HISTORY®, Lifetime®, LMN®, FYI™, H2®, LRW®, Military HISTORY®, HISTORY en Español™, Lifetime® Digital and Crime + Investigation™. Berning also oversees Ad Sales Partnerships, Research, Digita Media, Distribution, and the Marketing Innovations group comprised of Consumer Products, Corporate Marketing and Brand Partnerships & Innovations.

Prior to joining A+E Networks, Berning served as President, U.S. Broadcast at MediaVest USA, a division of Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG), one of the world’s leading media services companies. During his tenure, Berning helped the agency secure the reported $800-million Kraft AOR assignment and played a leading role in negotiating several cross-platform deals for the agency’s clients. According to The Wall Street Journal, the $300-million cross-platform deal Berning helped negotiate on behalf of client Procter & Gamble was a “landmark deal” and likely sparked a wave of similar such marketing pacts. Berning’s efforts also earned him recognition from industry publication Electronic Media, which named him “Media Buyer of the Year” in 2000.

Prior to his position at MediaVest, Berning was Senior Vice President, Pricing and Planning for NBC. While at NBC, he held several key posts including Vice President, Network Quality from July 1997 to August 1998; Vice President, Eastern Sales, from August 1994 to July 1997; Vice President, News Sales from September 1992 to August 1994; and Account Executive from February 1986 to September 1992.

From 1981 to 1986, Berning was at CBS, where he held the positions of Director, Sales and Competitive Analysis for the television network and CBS Cable. Prior to that, he was Director of Financial Planning at the Disney Channel. In 1980, he began his career in the media department of Benton & Bowles.

A cum laude graduate of the University of Virginia, Berning also earned his masters degrees in Business Administration and Journalism from Columbia University. He now resides in Larchmont, New York with his wife and their two children.

Peter Olsen HeadshotPeter Olsen

Executive Vice President, Ad Sales, A+E Networks

Peter Olsen is Executive Vice President, Ad Sales, A+E Networks. In this role, Mr. Olsen oversees Ad Sales and Ad Sales Partnerships teams across the company’s portfolio of linear and non-linear brands. He was promoted to this role in October 2014.

Previously Mr. Olsen served both as Senior Vice President and then Executive Vice President, Ad Sales, HISTORY/H2. He joined A+E Networks in 2005.

Prior to this, Mr. Olsen served at Mediacom as EVP/Director of National Broadcast. He was named National Media Buyer of the Year by Ad Age’s Television Week in 2003. His prior experiences include sales positions at WSBK-TV Boston and within the Sports division at NBC.

Peter graduated with a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Massachusetts. 

shariShari Post

Consultant – Branded Entertainment and Audience Targeting Solutions

Shari is a trusted media executive with 25+ years of multi-faceted experience in the advertising industry. Currently working as a consultant representing branded content and audience targeting data. Shari previously held various jobs at NBCUniversal, most recently Senior Vice President of Entertainment Sales responsible for Primetime, Late Night and Daytime. Other leadership positions included Vice President of Bravo and PaxTV where she built successful sales and marketing teams. Shari began her advertising career on the agency side with Media Insight and Grey Advertising in both planning and media buying.

Shari lives in Pleasantville (yes it is), New York with her husband, three children and dog, Bernie.

256e317Scott Haugenes

Head of Sales, estrellaTV

Scott Haugenes is currently the Head of Sales for Liberman Broadcasting’s Spanish language content network, estrellaTV and digital production arm, Fenomeno Studios. Scott has increased revenue over 200% over the past year creating advertising and marketing partnerships with companies like MetroPCS, SC Johnson, Denny’s and Chrysler. He is a leader within the organization and is responsible for spearheading successful revenue generating cross-company initiatives and guiding the sales division towards substantial revenue gains.

Scott was also the CEO of Brand Aid, an advisory company that connected advertisers, content creators and distributors of media to increase the value of their brands through strategic alliances. Brand Aid also led Ad Sales departments in increasing sales via strategic selling practices, presentation building and creative marketing across all media types.

Prior to Brand Aid, Haugenes oversaw Generate’s integrated sales efforts and created digital content partnerships with companies like at&t, Samsung, Bayer, Microsoft, Liquid Thread, TD Ameritrade, Alloy Digital and MTV to name a few. These deals helped lead the company towards its acquisition by Alloy Digital in January of 2012.

Scott also served as Senior Vice President, National Broadcast for Initiative, Scott managed the company’s network buying division. He was also an instrumental member of the new business team that brought in seven accounts with over one billion dollars in billings.

Prior to joining Initiative, Scott served as Senior Vice President at ABC Family. In that role he managed the national sales offices and lead teams that consistently over delivered revenue goals. Prior to the ABC Family Channel, Scott was Vice President of AOL Time Warner Global Marketing Solutions, where he formed successful cross-platform marketing alliances with Fortune 100 companies. He also managed the group’s West Coast division. Before that, Scott spent seven years with The WB Television Network, rising to the position of Vice President, Western Sales. He was part of The WB network’s launch team and created the West Coast sales office.

Scott received a BA in Political Science and a minor in History from Hartwick College and also attended The University of Oslo.

He is from Huntington, NY and currently resides in Rye, NY with his wife Claudine, daughter Dylan (Freshman at Tulane University) and son Jackson. In his spare time, Scott enjoys boating, fishing and laughing.

roywoodRoy Wood Jr.

Comedian and “The Daily Show w/Trevor Noah” Correspondent

Currently a correspondent on “The Daily Show w/ Trevor Noah”, Roy has been described by the Hollywood Reporter as “a standout”, and Entertainment Weekly called his brand of thought provoking comedy “charismatic crankiness”. In 2016 “Variety” magazine named him one of “10 Comics to Watch”.

Prior to “The Daily Show” Roy spent three years on the TBS sitcom, “Sullivan and Son”. He’s currently a regular on “Conan”, ESPN’s “SportsNation” and Comedy Central’s “@Midnight”.

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Roy began his comedy career in 1998 at the age of 19 while attending Florida A&M University. He went on to make his television debut in 2006 on “The Late Show with David Letterman”, and finished third in the 2010 season of “Last Comic Standing”.

He’s also appeared on HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam”, Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend” and “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson”. Prior to this he also appeared at the 2006 Montreal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in the “New Faces Showcase”. In 2006, Wood appeared on the Bob and Tom Radio Show: The Comedy Tour on Comedy Central. Also a veteran of radio (2001-2012) Roy’s morning show took home awards from the Alabama Broadcasters association for “Best Large Market Morning Show”.

Wood has recorded three nationally-released prank call CDs: “My Momma Made Me Wear This” (2003), “Confessions of a High School Bench Warmer” (2005) and “I’ll Slap You to Sleep!” (2009). And he has recently released his first comedy CD “Things I Think, I Think” (2013).

petedominickPete Dominick

Comedian and Host of “Stand Up! with Pete Dominick”

Stand-up comedian, speaker and commentator Pete Dominick is on a stable trajectory to becoming a household name. He started his career in the New York City comedy scene in the late ’90s, quickly making a name for himself as an emcee, hosting all the best lineups. Meanwhile, Pete was sought by colleges nationwide, performing in over 300 campuses in just four years.

Pete’s reputation for “working the crowd” led to opportunities to warm up audiences for live television tapings, including programs for MTV, CNBC, and Comedy Central, as well as opening for fellow comedians like Artie Lange at major venues. After seeing Pete expertly soften up Jon Stewart’s Daily Show audiences, Stephen Colbert brought him to the set of The Colbert Report as permanent audience warm-up from the pilot into the Emmy award-winning show’s 7th year – when Pete left to pursue his own television career at CNN.

As resident “offbeat reporter” on John King USA, Pete’s quick wit and attention-grabbing personality caught the eyes of CNN executives in 2010, leading almost immediately to his own half-hour news wrap-up show, What the Week. Pete, as the show’s co-creator and host, blended tongue-in-cheek irreverence with an insightful look at the real issues making and missing the headlines.

Back in 2006, Pete’s appearance on the New Faces stage of the Montreal Comedy Festival led to lots of interest, including the opportunity to try radio as host of a fast-paced live comedy hour on the Sirius network’s Raw Dog Comedy channel. In early 2008 shortly after the SIRIUSXM merger, Pete made the leap to political commentary, starting his own talk show, Pete’s Big Mouth. Pete continues to host a 3-hour daily discussion on SIRIUSXM, now called Stand Up! with Pete Dominick, which regularly features some of the biggest names in politics,journalism,academia and Entertainiment.

The Huffington Post called Stand Up! “truly the best political talk show on the air today.” The Hollywood Reporter listed Pete in an article featuring personalities to watch in talk radio. The NY Times profiled Pete and Stand Up! in February of 2013. And in January 2015 SIRIUSXM launched a brand new channel called “INSIGHT”which was Pete’s brainchild and proudest professional achievement. Pete can be heard daily from 9-12ET on SIRIUSXM Insight channel 121