Debra O’Connell is Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Disney|ABC Television Group. In this role, she maximizes linear and digital agency advertising opportunities across Disney|ABC Television Group. In addition, she oversees a full service in-house creative agency with the ability to create branded entertainment and deploy big ideas for clients across the company’s rich and diverse programming assets.
A 20-year veteran of The Walt Disney Company, O’Connell was previously President of ABC National Television Sales, the sales and marketing arm of the ABC Owned Television Station Division. She was responsible for leading national advertising sales at ABC’s eight owned stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno, in addition to their extensive digital platforms and out of home advertising group, ABC Regional Sports and Entertainment Sales.
Prior to that role, O’Connell was senior vice president of sales for ABC National Television Sales. She held several posts within the multimedia sales and marketing divisions after starting her tenure with ABC Television as Vice President of Marketing, WABC-TV in New York City, following a stint in ABC Radio’s Sales and Marketing team. O’Connell began her career as an account executive for two of Liberty Broadcasting’s radio stations, and marketing director for DiCarlo Distributors.
O’Connell is an active participant in The Walt Disney Company’s VoluntEARS program, which includes a variety of efforts with charities including The Boys & Girls Clubs, back to school and holiday support for families in need, conservation, and many more. This year, she was honored with the Executive Champion Award for her vigorous support and involvement. She also enjoys supporting many charitable initiatives across a variety of children associated events and causes including St. Jude's Hospital, Toys for Tots and programs like Sade Baderinwa's Get Reel Foundation. In addition, O’Connell is a mentor, which is one of the most gratifying parts of her career – to be able to give back, provide insight and guidance while watching amazing talent and individuals with possibility grow.
O’Connell is currently the Vice Chairman of the IRTS (International Radio & Television Society) and incoming Chair of this wonderful organization that focuses on mentorship, access, education and diversity. She graduated summa cum laude from Dowling College with a B.S. in Professional Studies and a Major in Marketing. O’Connell and her husband reside in New York City with her daughter and two stepsons.