PROFILE: Bruce Lefkowitz

Feb 4, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Title: Executive vice president, Fox Cable Advertising Sales. He was previously senior VP of national advertising sales at Discovery Networks.
Recent interesting deal: “Negotiating bedtimes over the holidays with my nearly 6-year-old quadruplets!
“Apart from that, we just closed our first major 2002 cross-platform deal for FX this week. It was a deal that involved product integration in `Son of the Beach,’ our original series. It involves consumption of the product in the program, as well as the brand being mentioned in the script.
“That was one of the three really creative ideas for a new nontraditional advertiser that our sales force and integrated sales and marketing group came up with. The result was a major seven-figure sponsorship. Pretty exciting way to start a new job, and very comforting to see our integrated group demonstrate our capabilities.”
The next big thing: “I think that there is going to be a return to true competition and selling.
“As we return to a more normal business cycle, there will be an increased focus on the value of the audience that is delivered. Vendors are going to need to be more creative in positioning their product vs. competitors. Whether it is FX emphasizing its phenomenal 18 to 34 story vs. MTV’s and Comedy Central’s, or National Geographic positioning its brand value, qualitative benefits and long-term potential vs. folks like Discovery Networks. Vendors are going to have to earn their money. It is our job to challenge the consolidated media buyers to spend the time looking into which networks truly deliver their target audiences beyond the metric of pricing.”
Is there anything you wish you had sold less of? “Sitting where I am now, I wish I sold less Discovery inventory last year, but I am more than confident that there is a place for National Geographic Channel and the Discovery products to co-exist and grow the market for years to come.”
Is there anything you wish you had sold more of? “BBC America. I think that it is one of the finest and [most] underutilized media properties out there. The shame is that in last year’s marketplace, the media community basically ignored any of the emerging networks. I really believe that the quality of audience that emerging networks like BBC America and National Geographic Channel can deliver should not be overlooked.”
If you weren’t in media selling: “I would be spending time with my wife and six children to watch them grow up on a daily basis, and/or coaching college basketball.”