Marianne Gambelli, the former longtime head of ad sales for the NBC broadcast network, was named president of ad sales for Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network. She will start her new duties on May 22.
“We are delighted to add Marianne to our executive management team,” said Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of both Fox News and its parent company, 21st Century Fox. “Her reputation for client management, along with her ability to monetize investments, seek out new and emerging technologies and create innovative media partnerships has made her a leader in the industry.”
Gambelli spent years at NBCUniversal overseeing the ad-sales efforts behind everything from “The Voice” to “Sunday Night Football.” She is known for her plainspoken attitude and for being responsive to sponsors. She will take over for Paul Rittenberg, a Fox News veteran whose time at the operation date back to its earliest efforts in 1996, when Fox News Channel first came on the air. She takes over after the network recently suffered an advertising crisis, as dozens of sponsors of “The O’Reilly Factor” pulled their commercials from the show in the wake of revelations about settlements anchor Bill O’Reilly made after being accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. Advertisers have returned to Fox News’ 8 p.m. slot since O’Reilly left the network and Tucker Carlson’s program moved into the primetime anchor slot.
“I am beyond excited to lead a very talented sales team to capitalize on this new era in news,” said Gambelli in a prepared statement.
In recent years, Gambelli has been serving as chief investment officer at independent media buyer Horizon Media, where she supervised the allocation of $7 billion in advertising spending. She capped off a 22-year run at NBCUniversal as president of sales and marketing, and oversaw ad sales behind NBC News, NBC Sports and NBC Entertainment.
She will take over just as U.S. media companies start to enter negotiations related to the industry’s annual upfront market, during which they hope to sell the bulk of their advertising inventory.
Gambelli started her career working for ad agencies Grey Advertising and Backer Speilvogel Bates.