As the org chart continues to take shape for New Fox, ad sales chief Joe Marchese plans to step aside once the Disney-Fox deal closes in the coming months, with Fox News sales exec Marianne Gambelli assuming a broader role, according to people familiar with the transition.
As of now, Marchese remains in charge of Fox ad sales, but expects to depart after helping Gambelli with the transition, the people emphasized. The $71.3 billion Disney-Fox transaction is expected to close in early 2019, leaving behind an entity Wall Street has taken to calling a “stub” as it will consist mainly of the Fox broadcast network, local TV stations, Fox News and FS1.
Gambelli, who has steered the Fox News sales effort during a period of record-setting ratings dominance. Prior to joining Fox in May 2017, she was an executive at major media buying firm Horizon Media, and previously had a stint in sales and marketing for NBC.
Marchese came to Fox in 2014 along with his company, TrueX, in an acquisition. He has been a vocal proponent of risk-taking in a period of years when broadcast TV has reached a vulnerable state. Among his innovations have been the broader use of six-second spots and the Open AP consortium that joined Fox with Viacom and Turner in developing more efficient buying and more accurate measurement.
A 21st Century Fox spokesman declined to comment.
The ad-sales news, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, follows word that Fox co-head Gary Newman is negotiating to stay at New Fox. His longtime partner in running the company, Dana Walden, is headed to Disney in a yet-to-be-defined role.