Fox News’ Head of Ad Sales to Step Down After Two Decade Run

By A.J. Katz 

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Fox News announced today that Paul Rittenberg, its executive vice president of ad sales, is stepping down from his position effective April 28th. Rittenberg has led all TV and digital ad sales for Fox News and Fox Business since each network’s inception. Rittenberg’s replacement will be named in the coming months, says a network spokesperson.

According to Jason Lynch of Adweek, “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.”

The aforementioned spokesperson told TVNewser the next Fox News ad sales head will continue to focus solely on ad sales for Fox News. There will be no merging of the cable ad sales groups.

“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,” said co-presidents Jack Abernethy and Bill Shine in a joint statement. “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.”

Rittenberg added, “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. I am so proud of what we were able to accomplish and am grateful for the opportunity to work with such a talented team.”

Joining Fox News in April 1996 as vp of ad sales, Rittenberg was one of the network’s first employees, 6 months before its launch. In 2007, he took the additional role as head of sales for FBN.

The Fox News vet spoke with TVNewser last September, and said: “I don’t think there’s any doubt that this calendar year (2016) will be, by far, our biggest sales year ever, certainly through the election.” He was right. According to the network, 2016 indeed marked FNC and FBN’s most profitable years in each network’s history, breaking records across both the TV and digital space.

Prior to FNC, Rittenberg served as vp of ad sales for CNBC in the mid-1990s, and previously held several management and sales positions within ABC.