SBJ/March 3 - 9, 2008/Forty Under 40

Rick Kloiber

Any story about a Fox ad sales executive this year has to revolve around the Super Bowl, which was wildly successful for the network.

Rick Kloiber
Age: 39
Title: Vice president, sports sales
Company: Fox Broadcasting Co.
Education: B.A., economics, Lehigh University, 1990
Family: Wife, Jill; son Justin (2)
Career: Started at BBDO, New York, as an assistant national TV buyer in 1990; promoted through the ranks to vice president/associate media director; joined Fox Broadcasting as an account executive in sports sales in 2000; named to current position in November 2005.
Last vacation: Long weekend in Paris to celebrate wedding anniversary
Last book read: “Beyond the White House,” by Jimmy Carter
Last movie seen: “The Bee Movie,” with my wife and son
What’s on iPod? Ryan Adams, Bright Eyes, Drive-By Truckers, Josh Ritter, Neil, “This American Life” podcasts.
Pet peeve: The dead-fish handshake
Greatest achievement: Being a dad
Greatest disappointment: Tough to pin down, but disappointment is part of the deal — otherwise there’s no way to measure success.
Fantasy job: NASCAR Sprint Cup team owner, but I get to drive the cars whenever I want
Executive you most admire: Steve Jobs
Business advice: My grandmother always told me, “Keep your eyes open, your ears open and your mouth shut.”

Rick Kloiber's story is no different. An executive best known for keeping NASCAR's ad sales afloat during a multiyear ratings downturn, Kloiber brought in more Super Bowl units than anyone else, helping Fox bring in record high revenue for this year's game.

It's a measure of how important Kloiber is to Fox's ad sales team that he was the one managing the relationship with the biggest single ad buyer for this year's game, Optimum Sports director of media Tom McGovern.

"Rick has the ability to walk that fine line between serving Fox and serving his clients," McGovern said. "His focus goes beyond the short-term deal, with an eye towards longer-term partnership."

When McGovern first approached Kloiber about advertising in the game, he had a plan to buy just six spots. Eventually, McGovern bought more than three times that amount, and he credits Kloiber's approach with convincing him to get the deal done.

While Kloiber is happy to take a rest from the high-pressure stakes of selling the next Super Bowl (which will be carried by NBC), he describes the entire process as exhilarating and exhausting at the same time.

"To have the opportunity to sell the Super Bowl is fantastic," he said. "It's the one media event where people actually talk about the commercials. But I'm glad to see it in the rearview mirror. It weighs on you."

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