Fox Corporation named Jeff Collins, a former digital-advertising executive, to oversee advertising sales for all of its Fox News media outlets, putting a new face behind the effort at a time when the company is making different outreach to Madison Avenue.
Collins hails from Viant Technology, a digital-advertising and publishing concern that was acquired by Time Inc. in 2016, then became part of Meredith Corp. He was chief revenue officer of Viant, and helped manage everything from the acquisition of a mobile-ad company to the operations of the social-media pioneer Myspace. He spent 18 years at Turner Broadcasting, where he was very involved with ad sales for CNN and several of its properties.
Collins will oversee ad sales for Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network and Fox News Digital. He replaces Marianne Gambelli in the role after she was named president of advertising sales for all of Fox Corp., and will report to her. “Jeff’s proven track record in identifying new revenue streams and implementing strategic partnerships will add depth and innovation to our sales team. We look forward to welcoming him to Fox News as we further expand our business beyond traditional platforms,” Gambelli said in a prepared statement.
Fox News has been in the midst of a new effort to lure advertisers. The company in February began a promotional effort to remind ad buyers of the size of Fox News’ audience, noting that the outlet has large viewership across the nation, no matter whether the region tilts red or blue. Fox News invited ad executives to tour its facilities in March. Advocacy groups have scrutinized the sponsors of prime-time hosts like Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson, pressuring marketers to boycott those programs in the wake of statements the hosts have made on immigration and other topics.
Fox News has moved some ads to other parts of its schedule, but the company has not seen a dip in overall advertising revenue. “Our ability to consistently deliver live, large, and upscale and engaged audiences has resulted in consistent and stable growth in our advertising revenue. This fiscal year is on track to be our highest advertising revenue year ever, and going forward, we expect advertising to continue to be a driver of business across all platforms,” Scott said during a recent presentation to investors.
Collins’ digital expertise will come in handy, as Fox News is taking new steps in the online arena. The company has overhauled digital operations for Fox News Channel, and its CEO, Suzanne Scott, has described early plans to do the same for Fox Business. The company last year launched Fox Nation, a subscription based streaming-video outlet, which at present does not run commercials.
It’s the opportunity of a lifetime to work on such a dynamic and powerful brand and I look forward to pairing my expertise across linear and digital platforms with the network’s incredibly loyal audience,” Collins said in a statement.
A graduate of the University of Delaware with a degree in political science and minor in economics, Collins began his career with CNN as a sales assistant in 1996.