Trump Names NBCU’s Linda Yaccarino to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition

The appointment comes hours after Trump slammed NBC on Twitter

Linda Yaccarino oversaw NBCU ad sales during Trump's last three seasons of Celebrity Apprentice. Chris Loupos for Adweek
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Just a week and a half before she’ll kickoff broadcast upfront week with NBCUniversal’s annual event at Radio City Music Hall, the company’s ad sales chief Linda Yaccarino just added a presidential appointment to her crowded upfront plate.

Yaccarino was among the people that President Trump named this morning to serve a two-year term on the President’s Council on Sport, Fitness and Nutrition.

The former Adweek cover subject joins appointees including New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (a longtime Trump pal), Dr. Mehmet Oz, former bodybuilder (and Incredible Hulk star) Lou Ferrigno, former MLB players Johnny Damon and Mariano Rivera, volleyball star Misty May-Treanor, onetime NFL star Herschel Walker and LPGA’s Natalie Gulbis.

Rivera, May-Treanor and Walker will serve as co-chairs of the Council. The full list of appointees can be found here.

Several of those people—Damon, Ferrigno and Walker—previously worked with Trump on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice. Yaccarino joined NBCUniversal in 2011, and took over ad sales for the entire company a year later, overseeing the last three seasons of the Celebrity Apprentice under Trump.

Yaccarino has yet to comment about her appointment, but an NBCU rep says that she was recommended for the position by one of her NBCUniversal advertising clients.

UPDATE: Yaccarino tweeted late Friday afternoon that “this hockey & gymnastics mom” was “honored” to join the Council.

Trump signed an executive order in February changing the focus of the Council to encouraging youth sports participation while also promoting the fitness, health and nutrition of Americans.

Yaccarino’s two kids both grew up participating sports—and played hockey at Penn State—while the ad sales chief is passionate about fitness. She told Adweek last year that she has an addiction to Flywheel.”

The news of Yaccarino’s appointment came just hours after Trump had tweeted about NBC News issuing a correction to its report that feds had wiretapped the phones of his lawyer Michael Cohen.

Yaccarino is adding her Council duties just ahead of this year’s upfront, which will be held on Monday, May 14. Two months ago, she announced that NBCUniversal will air 10 percent fewer ads on all of its portfolio’s prime-time original shows starting this fall, and is creating a 60-second pod of audience-targeted advertising in each prime-time original show.

She’ll talk more about those offerings, and several other new ad formats, during the event.

@jasonlynch Jason Lynch is TV/Media Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.