AOL Carves New Local Ad Sales Role

deluca-mike-aolAOL has added a new position to its local ad sales team, and hired former Yodle sales exec Mike DeLuca to fill it. As head of sales, AOL Local, Deluca will help AOL sell across its properties to local and regional advertisers.

DeLuca will work with AOL’s national ad sales team, headed by Jeff Levick, to sell AOL’s local properties including Patch sites, Mapquest, City’s Best, and Wow Deal of the Day, as well as geo-targeted ads across AOL and AOL Mail.

“Mike represents the beginnings of a team [which will be assembled] to address those channels,” said Jon Brod, president of AOL Ventures, Local and Mapping.

“For AOL Local, 2010 has been about building, scaling and reenergizing the properties,” said Brod. “2011 will be about furthering those initiatives as well as how to bring the monetization element to local.”

DeLuca is charged with building and managing a local sales team. He will start December 6 and report to Brod. Levick and his team will continue selling local opportunities to national advertisers.

AOL’s Patch sites are among the more recent local content initiatives for the company. So far, sites exist in the northeast and southeast, and states including Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, California, and Washington.

The sites offer display ads, coupons, and directory ads featuring video. Brod indicated that Patch’s local editors could have some involvement with local advertisers, but declined to elaborate. “We will test a number of different models,” he said. “There will be more to come on that in the next weeks and months.”

DeLuca most recently served as SVP of sales and marketing for local ad services firm Yodle, and is still featured on the company’s site. Before working at Yodle, DeLuca worked at Yahoo’s HotJobs division.

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