Fox Television Stations (FTS) has formed a political unit within its ad sales division.
The station group said Ben Stecker and Walt Lopko will lead all the station group’s political advertising sales efforts, reporting directly to Patrick Paolini, executive vice president of FTS Ad Sales.
“In an ever-present political cycle, which is kicking into high gear with the 2024 Presidential Election, it is critical to assemble a talented team that best suits the future of the rapidly evolving advertising marketplace,” said Paolini. “I have no doubt that with Ben and Walt’s combined expertise and transformative vision, we will continue to reinvent and innovate the sales business.”
Stecker has been named vp of Political, Issue, and Advocacy for FTS Ad Sales. He comes form Strategus, where he was the political sales director. Before that, Stecker was an account executive and political specialist for Broadcast Media at Cox and Tegna after working as an account executive at Sandler-Innocenzi. Inc. He’s also worked as a campaign manager, political director, and policy director for various Senate, Congressional, and Gubernatorial Political Campaigns. Stecker began his career as a Legislative Aid in the U.S. House and Senate while also serving in the Idaho Air National Guard.
“With the expected growth of CTV/OTT in the already active 2024 election cycle, FLX is uniquely positioned to combine the trusted local and premium content campaigns crave with the advanced targeting capabilities they need to succeed,” said Stecker. “I’m excited for the opportunity to help lead FTS efforts to leverage that powerful offering with our political and issue advocacy partners.”
Lopko has been promoted to vice president of political and regional sales manager for FTS Ad Sales. He has been with Fox since 2003, first as regional manager of Fox Stations Sales (FSS), then as vice president and regional sales manager for FSS since 2012. Earlier in his career, Lopko was director of sales for CBS Radio/Infinity in Philadelphia and sales manager for Katz Media Group.
“Having a dedicated political unit to super-serve our political clients and partners has never been more valuable,” said Lopko. “I am excited to work side by side with our team to leverage our various targeted product offerings, with the FOX O&O’s local news, entertainment, and sports content.”