Fox News’ most senior cable TV advertising executive is departing -- Paul Rittenberg.
The news of Rittenberg's departure -- which will be effective April 28 -- comes as the upfront TV advertising selling season is about to begin. A Fox News spokesperson says a successor will be named in the coming months.
A 20-year veteran who has led the channel since its beginning, Rittenberg, who is EVP of advertising sales, is stepping down at head of all TV and digital efforts for Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.
Fox News Co-Presidents Jack Abernethy and Bill Shine said Rittenberg's exit comes after Fox News' most profitable year ever -- following a big TV political advertising selling season for many TV news channels.
Fox News Channel pulled in $1.22 billion in national TV advertising from February 26, 2016 through February 26, 2017, according to iSpot.tv. It was the No. 1 cable viewing network in 2016 -- averaging a a Nielsen 2.466 million viewers in prime time -- and 1.68 million in Monday though Sunday 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Rittenberg came to Fox News in April 1996 as VP of advertising sales six months before the launch of Fox News Channel. Fox says he helped the network “achieve operational break-even by doubling advertising sales every year.”
In 2007, he took on another responsibility, running ad sales for Fox Business Network.
Before Fox, Rittenberg was VP of advertising sales at CNBC. He also had executive positions at ABC and as media buyer at Benton & Bowles.