In a move designed to better align the division’s leadership, Fox Networks (FN) Distribution President Mike Hopkins today announced a restructuring of the group’s operations. Executive Vice President Michael Biard will be assuming additional responsibilities, with Senior Vice President of Advanced Services Julie Simon now reporting to him. Additionally, cable industry distribution veteran Steve Carcano is joining FN as Senior Vice President, National Accounts reporting to Mr. Biard, and Kris Nielsen-Refs will become FN’s new Vice President, Digital Distribution, reporting to Ms. Simon.

Mr. Biard currently oversees distribution of FN’s 43 domestic programming services by all of the major cable, satellite, and telco operators. He directs the business strategy and negotiations with the major distributors and works closely with all the Fox networks on wide-ranging, multi-platform distribution activities. In his new role he will have direct supervisory responsibility for distribution of the Fox services on all linear and non-linear platforms. He will work closely with Ms. Simon and her team to develop FN’s advanced services strategy for new applications and emerging platforms.

“Mike is one of the most dynamic executives in television” said Mr. Hopkins. “With the industry changing at such a rapid pace, non-linear platforms and authenticated product have become far more significant growth drivers for our business, and I am pleased he will be working with Julie to push those initiatives to greater profitability. She and her Advanced Services team have successfully launched many products in the last year (the newly-authenticated FOX.com, FOX VOD, BTN2Go, SPEED2 and the Fox SoccerPlus bundle to name a few) with many more to come in the first two quarters of the new year. Julie’s role will expand to cover greater responsibility for digital distribution across all platforms.”

Steve Carcano joins FN from Lifetime Networks, where he spent nine years as Senior Vice President, Distribution. He also spent the last year as founder of Metroclips, LLC, a business incubator that launched four new e-businesses. In his new role, he will work closely with Mr. Biard and the FN Distribution team on all business strategies and negotiations with the major cable, satellite and telco distributors. He will also be responsible for supervising all national accounts. Mr. Carcano is a 1985 graduate of Indiana University and holds bachelor’s degrees in telecommunications and sociology.

“Steve is a smart, experienced and entrepreneurial executive with tremendous negotiating skills and a proven track record of success,” said Mr. Biard. “In addition to his many years negotiating affiliation agreements, he’s launched multiple start-ups. In the late ‘90s, he spent several years here at Fox in various sales and business development capacities, and I expect he will hit the ground running upon his return. I’m pleased to welcome him back and delighted that he’s joining our team.”

Kris Nielsen-Refs joins the company from Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta, where he served as Director, Business Development and Multi-Platform Distribution. He will be responsible for distribution of FN content on non-linear platforms. Nielsen-Refs, a native of Denmark, also spent several years working in Turner’s London office in increasingly responsible account management roles. He attended the University of Westminster and Birkbeck University in London.

“We’re delighted to have Kris join our team,” said Ms. Simon. “He served as a key executive driving Turner’s leading-edge ‘TV Everywhere’ initiative and brings a wealth of experience in the emerging authentication field and non-linear programming platforms.”