Fox's long time chief of advertising
sales Jon Nesvig said he plans to retire a the end of the year.
No replacement was named for Nesvig,
known as the dean of TV sales after a 40-year career mostly at NBC and Fox.
"It's been an incredible run, but it's
time to call it a day," said Nesvig, 66, in a statement. "I've been extremely
fortunate to work in an exciting industry and to deal with many very talented
people, both as co-workers and clients. Now I'm looking forward to enjoying my
grandchildren and trying to improve my golf game."
Nesvig joined Fox in 1989, when it was
ridiculed as the coat hanger network. Media buyers say he helped bring Fox
credibility on Madison Avenue and had a superior record in accurately gauging
supply and demand during the annual upfront market.
"For the last five years I've used
every trick I could think of to get Jon to stay," said Tony Vinciquerra, chairman
and CEO, Fox Networks Group, in a statement. "But when we discussed it recently
and he said it was time, I had no arguments left. For over 20 years he's given
us his very best, and now it time to share him with his wife, Hanneke, the
girls and his grandkids."
In a memo to Fox staff, Vinciquerra
said that Nesvig's "leadership has provided us with a tremendous sales team
that includes a deep bench of talented executives" and that "over the next
several weeks we'll be talking to the sales group about ‘next steps', and Jon
will be here to help us transition for the future."
Nesvig's life took a tragic turn in
2005 when his son Tim died of cancer. Nesvig and his family set up a media
research fund in his name, and the advertising buying and selling community
rallied around the effort. At this year's golf tournament benefiting the Tim
Nesvig Fellowship for the City of Hope, more than $1 million was raised.
Before joining Fox, Nesvig had been
with NBC for 15 years. Prior to that, he was a salesman for the ABC Radio
Networks. He began his career on the agency side, starting at Benton &
Next week, Nesvig will be honored as
the first ad sales executive to be inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.