21st Century Fox, which has been been looking for a new Fox Networks Group ad sales chief since September, now has a second high-profile ad sales vacancy to fill.
Paul Rittenberg, evp of advertising sales for Fox News, is stepping down on April 28, Fox News announced today. He had overseen TV and digital ad sales for Fox News and Fox Business Networks since both networks were launched.
His replacement will be named in the coming months, according to a network spokesperson. In the interim, his duties will be assumed by the rest of his ad sales team.
The move leaves Fox without ad sales chiefs at both Fox News and Fox Networks Group, which has been searching for a replacement since Toby Byrne’s surprise departure in September. The Fox Networks Group chief oversees all non-news networks in Fox’s portfolio, including Fox, Fox Sports, FX, FXX and National Geographic Channel.
Fox Networks Group said it is closing in on a decision and expects to fill the position within the next few weeks.
While the dual ad sales vacancies would suggest that 21st Century Fox might look to combine both ad sales divisions, a Fox News spokesperson said they will be continue to be run separately after Rittenberg’s replacement is named.
“Throughout his 20 plus years at Fox News, Paul has developed powerful relationships with clients and built one of the most respected and successful teams in the industry. Coming off our most profitable year yet, we are tremendously grateful to him for his many contributions in making both Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network the most coveted marketing platforms in cable,” said Fox News co-presidents Jack Abernethy and Bill Shine in a statement.
Rittenberg joined Fox News in April 1996, six months before the network launched, as vp of advertising sales. In 2007, he added Fox Business Network to his portfolio. Prior to joining Fox News, he worked at CNBC as vp of advertising sales. He led both networks to the most profitable years in their respective histories, said the company.
“It has been one of my greatest honors to help build the Fox News brand from the ground up into the most successful and recognizable names in the industry,” said Rittenberg in a statement. “I am so proud of what we were able to accomplish and am grateful for the opportunity to work with such a talented team.”