FOX upfront 2017: Bruce Lefkowitz, Fox Networks Group EVP of ad sales, talks bold FOX offerings, data-driven advertising, more


The 2017 FOX upfront programming presentation is taking place in New York on Monday, May 15. With the big event almost a week away, we thought it would be a good time to check in with Bruce Lefkowitz, Executive Vice President of Advertising Sales for Fox Networks Group. In a recent conversation, Bruce touched on evolution of the upfront process in recent years, what differentiates FOX from other broadcast networks and data-driven ad offerings.

What sets FOX apart

During the busiest season for broadcast networks, it’s important to remember what sets FOX’s offerings apart from the rest.

“FOX has always been about attitude, authenticity and great characters,” Bruce said. “Being bold is in our DNA and has been a point of differentiation across our portfolio.”

Changes in the landscape

“The mythical upfront used to be a furious feeding frenzy of all-night deal making driven by fear of not getting inventory desired,” Bruce said. However, with the proliferation of choices and the fragmentation of audiences, the process has become more orderly.

Bruce also explained how the trend toward time-shifted viewing as well as a growing list of ways people can consume television content has affected the marketplace: “It has made the job for media buyers and clients more difficult, as they need to re-aggregate the fragmented viewing.”

Data-driven advertising solutions

Last year, Fox Networks Group announced the Fox Audience Insights Manager (AIM), a suite of data-enhanced buying tools designed to help advertisers improve the effectiveness of their linear and nonlinear buys beyond age and gender demographics. This year, Fox Networks Group announced its participation in Open Audience Platform (OpenAP), television’s first open platform for cross-publisher audience targeting and independent measurement for audience segments.

Bruce said these endeavors are important because they shift the conversation from efficiency (price) to effectiveness (value).

“By being able to target specific segments, advertisers make their ad dollars work harder and get closer to demonstrating true ROI,” he said. “For sellers, it allows us to optimize each piece of our inventory more effectively.”

Excitement and unity

When asked what excites him most about this year’s upfront season, Bruce said: “That all eyes of the entertainment world will focus on our business, and the resulting camaraderie of our team as we unite to compete and deliver results.”