Ed Erhardt, head of Ad Sales for ESPN will step down in early 2019 after two decades at Disney-owned sports network. An innovator, Erhardt pioneered the “double box” that permits viewers to keep watching sports action while ads are in an adjacent window. This has been especially useful for sports like soccer and golf, which don’t have stoppages of play that are designed to fit a block of TV ads. He also helped ESPN found its own in-house creative agency.
Through the years, Erhardt has been credited with some of the most innovative concepts in advertising during sports broadcasts.
Following Erhardt’s retirement next year, ESPN’s ad-sales division will be combined with Walt Disney-owned sister network ABC as well as with Disney’s other cable outlets. Rito Ferro will head the combined ad-sales division for Disney.