Jon Nesvig, who joined Fox when 90210 was just a Zip code, is stepping down from his role as president of sales at year's-end. He had been in the post since 1993, after joining the network in 1989. No replacement has been named.
The courtly executive's 21-plus years at the network started when it had two nights of programming; "The Simpsons" was just getting established, and "Beverly Hills 90210" had yet to become a breakout hit. It was also before Fox acquired rights to the NFL, and well before "American Idol" which would help the network lead the pack in the 18-to-49 demo and become TV's priciest show.
Nesvig gambled on Fox after a long career in sales at NBC. In 1993, the senior vice president succeeded Pat Mastandrea in the chief sales post.
Fox Networks Group CEO Tony Vinciquerra stated that Nesvig has considered retirement for some time, and he was always able to persuade him to stay, using "every trick I could think of ... but when we discussed it recently and he said it was time, I had no arguments left."
Nesvig was respected enough at News Corp. that one executive said he could call CEO Rupert Murdoch by his first name, while others had to use a more formal title.
In a statement, Nesvig said he is eager to spend time with his grandchildren and improving his golf game. Once at a MediaPost event, he suggested he could outplay most people in the room.
Nesvig began his career in the media department at the Benton & Bowles agency. He is a committed fund-raiser for cancer research through the Tim Nesvig Lymphoma Fellowship at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in Duarte, Calif.