DirecTV's Riordan Retiring As Head Of Sales

Bob Riordan, after heading DirecTV's ad sales group as senior vice president for five years, will step down from the post for personal reasons, the company said.

DirecTV said it will conduct an internal and external search to find a replacement for Riordan.

In 2006, DirecTV brought all of its ad-sales operations in-house, hiring Riordan to head the group. Previously the satellite TV operator had used Twentieth Television as its advertising-sales rep, where Riordan had been responsible for annual gross ad sales revenues.

"Bob has contributed immeasurably to developing and growing DirecTV's ad sales business first while at [Twentieth Television] and then later when he joined DirecTV to lead the ad sales department," Derek Chang, DirecTV's executive vice president of content, strategy and development, said in a statement.

Continued Chang, "I'm happy to say he will stay on as an advisor for the foreseeable future and his advice and counsel will be invaluable moving forward. I want to thank Bob for all of his contributions and wish him the best in his future endeavors."

Prior to DirecTV and Twentieth Television, Riordan was executive vice president at Havas' MPG, head of sales for the short-lived XFL football league, and a sales representative for USA Networks.

On Riordan's watch, DirecTV has expanded interactive TV advertising and initiated a targeted-advertising project with Starcom MediaVest Group to deliver local ads to nearly 10 million subscribers with DVRs. The company is using the targeted-ad system from Invidi Technologies, which replaces national spots with ads stored on the DVR based on different criteria.

DirecTV also struck a deal with NCC Media, the ad-sales company owned by Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications, bringing the satellite TV operator into the spot-advertising market for the first time and giving NCC the ability to expand coverage in 25 select markets.

Last year, the company entered into a pact with Google, under which the Internet giant would sell some inventory across a handful of networks.