More Changes Coming to Fox Networks Ad Sales
Fox Networks Group is continuing its revamp of its ad sales division, promoting Bruce Lefkowitz to exec VP-advertising sales, and creating new agency leads who will be responsible for working with specific ad agency groups.
Mr. Lefkowitz, who had been exec VP-ad sales for Fox Cable Entertainment, will now be No. 2 to Toby Byrne, president-ad sales for Fox Networks Group, will be in charge of advertising revenue and sales strategy for all broadcast, cable, sports, Spanish-language media and non-linear platforms.
He will also supervise Fox's newly created "agency leads," who will be responsible for working with individual agencies and their clients. Under the new structure, WPP's GroupM, Omnicom, Denstu Aegis, IPG and Publicis's Starcom MediaVest and Zenith will each have their own sales team lead.
"The goal of the new sales organization is to operate in a way that will better serve our industry partners," Mr. Byrne said, adding that the agency leads will help Fox be more nimble in developing deeper partnerships.
As more agencies and advertisers seek to buy targeted audiences, Mr. Lefkowitz said there is a need to look at how to do business differently.
Fox announced its plans to consolidate its ad sales operations in October, bringing broadcast, cable and digital under one umbrella led by Mr. Byrne. Previously, Fox operated in silos, with sales team leads working across agencies.
Since Fox announced the reorg of its ad sales it has eliminated about 75 positions from the group. That included 17-year-veteran Lou LaTorre, president of ad sales for the Fox Cable Entertainment Networks, who accepted a voluntary buyout offer.
The new agency-centric ad structure will be key to Fox's sales strategy at this summer's upfront haggling, when networks look to sell the bulk of their ad inventory for the new season. Fox's flagship broadcast channel is trailing its rivals as "American Idol" continues to shed viewers and the network struggles to find another massive hit.