Fox Family Worldwide Inc. is integrating the separate
advertising-sales operations for Fox Kids Network, Fox Family Channel, Fox Kids Radio and Fox
Rich Cronin, president and CEO of Fox Family and Fox Kids
Network, described the new unit, under Fox Family ad-sales president Rick Sirvaitis, as a
"one-stop kids' shop."
Effective in the first quarter of 1999, Sirvaitis and his
New York-based ad-sales team "will assume complete responsibility for all national ad
sales" -- not only for Fox Family on the cable side, but also for the other
operations. Sirvaitis will continue reporting to Cronin.
That integration will translate into "a great
opportunity to buy all kinds of marketing opportunities in one place," Cronin said
Jon Nesvig remains president of ad sales for Fox
Broadcasting Co. and executive vice president for Fox Television. Jean Rossi, previously
executive vice of national sales over Fox Kids Network, will continue as a key executive
with Fox Broadcasting after coordinating the transition to Sirvaitis, Cronin said.
The sales integration will enable advertisers to
"maximize their reach and effectiveness," Nesvig said in a prepared statement.
The magazine, he added, is published quarterly for 5.6
million Fox Kids Club members, while the Fox Kids Radio Countdown show reaches an
estimated 3 million youngsters weekly via 200 radio stations. Campbell Soup Co. and
McDonald's Corp. are among advertisers buying into the radio and print components.
Jennifer Luke oversees radio and magazine ad sales out of
Los Angeles, dually reporting to Sirvaitis and Ellie Dekel, executive vice president of
the consumer-products division of Fox Family Worldwide.
Asked about speculation that Fox Kids on broadcast TV might
eventually be folded into its cable operation, Cronin emphasized that Fox Kids Network
represents a long-term commitment for the company, since it has signed 10-year deals with
its affiliated TV stations.
Fox Kids, he said, has gotten off to a strong ratings
start, with the top-rated show on Saturday mornings for four of the first five weeks of
the season (with archrival ABC finishing first one of those weeks); overall, Fox Kids
ranked second only to cable's Nickelodeon. In weekday afternoons, Fox Kids was No. 1
overall, according to Nielsen Media Research data, he added.
Cronin added that The AddamsFamily is off to
a strong start on Fox Family.
Initial kids' audience slippage this fall may be due
to more choices being available, he said, observing that some choices made by so-called
latchkey kids may not be appropriate for youngsters, such as the syndicated Rosie
O'Donnell Show and, especially, the Jerry Springer Show.
Cronin said he has no plans for similar integration on the
marketing end. "[The marketing teams for the various entities] work very closely
together," he added.