NBC Universal veteran Marianne Gambelli has been tapped to lead Fox News ad sales amid a major upheaval at the cable news behemoth.
She joins the news organization, the most-watched cable network, as it grapples with the fallout over sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits that have resulted in the recent departures of co-president Bill Shine and its most prominent host Bill O’Reilly.
While advertisers have stuck with the network amid the scandals, more than 50 marketers pulled out of O’Reilly’s show following reports that he and the network paid $13 million to five women to settle sexual harassment allegations. That helped drive O’Reilly, the top-rated host at Fox News, from the network.
Fox News said Monday that the ad revolt had ended.”We are pleased to report that FNC is back to full commercial load,” Dom Rossi, VP-Eastern sales at Fox News, said in a statement provided by a Fox News spokeswoman. “We pride ourselves on our relationships with our clients, and we worked closely and quickly to find scheduling solutions that met their needs.”
Gambelli will assume the post on May 22, just in time for the annual upfronts marketplace for ad time in TV’s coming year.
She would have played a key role at the upfronts on the other side of the negotiating table in the job she is exiting: chief investment officer at Horizon Media.
Before joining Horizon in 2012, Gambelli spent 22 years at NBC in various roles, including president of sales and marketing. At NBC she oversaw partnerships and strategy across news, sports and entertainment brands.
“We are delighted to add Marianne to our executive management team,” Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman Fox News and parent company 21st Century Fox, said in a statement. “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 succeeds Paul Rittenberg, who departed from the company last month after leading ad sales at Fox News since the channel’s inception.
“I’m proud to be representing the powerful Fox News brand and I am beyond excited to lead a very talented sales team to capitalize on this new era in news,” Gambelli said in a statement.