One aspect of Fox’s executive restructuring that saw 20th Century Fox TV chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman add oversight of the broadcast network has been largely overlooked – the move also means a promotion for Fox Networks Group chairman and CEO Peter Rice, whose star at 21st Century Fox has been rising. He had been overseeing Fox and the company’s cable networks, but 20th TV had been under the purview of 21st Century president and COO Chase Carey. With the two units coming together, reporting also is being streamlined, with Walden and Newman reporting to Rice, who will take oversight of 20th Century Fox TV for the first time. Rice has production experience on the film side as former head of Fox Searchlight but this is his first venture into TV producing.
Rice said he was “excited” about the new challenge but downplayed his bump. “It really is a promotion for Gary and Dana,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working with them, they’re a fantastic executives who have run the studio for 15 years. I have lots to learn from them about the TV studio.” Rice did not have any notes on how the studio has been run and does not plan to make changes now that he is in charge. “I think the studio will operate very much in a business-as-usual manner, both selling to other … Read More »
This morning’s confirmation that Kevin Reilly was stepping down as Chairman of Entertainment at Fox Broadcast Co. ends weeks of speculation he would exit in the wake of the March promotion of Rupert Murdoch’s son, James to co-COO at 21st Century Fox, giving him oversight of, among other properties, the Fox broadcast network. When the dust settled back then, Fox Networks Group chief Peter Rice, to whom Reilly reported, would now report to James Murdoch instead of president/COO Chase Carey.
Related: Kevin Reilly Steps Down As Fox Entertainment Chairman
“He had to make a move,” one industry exec speculated, of Rice in the wake of the March shuffle.
Related: Departing Fox Boss Kevin Reilly Urges “Don’t Go Back To Pilot Season” In Memo
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UPDATE: Below the original post is a copy of Rupert Murdoch’s memo to staff at 21st Century Fox regarding today’s appointments. In it, he notes that the evolution of the company’s leadership, “underscores the considerable planning that both the Company and the Board have undertaken to ensure a vibrant future for 21st Century Fox and its shareholders.”
PREVIOUS: In what looks like a clear sign that Rupert Murdoch is putting his succession plans in order, News Corp and 21st Century Fox made big announcements early Wednesday morning outlining changes to their boards and executive structure — and each involving Murdoch’s sons. Lachlan Murdoch has been named Non-Executive Co-Chairman of News Corp and has been given the same title at 21st Century Fox, the media and entertainment company. Also at 21st Century Fox, James Murdoch has been elevated to Co-Chief Operating Officer. Further, Fox Networks Group Chairman and CEO Peter Rice, who has close ties to the Murdoch family, has extended his contract for an unspecified term. “Under Peter Rice’s leadership Fox Networks Group has continued to push creative boundaries across the company, and has grown tremendously with successful channel launches including Fox Sports 1 and FXX, an increased international footprint and enhanced sports offerings across the world,” James Murdoch said.
The … Read More »
A big step up for Randy Freer, who’s considered one of the most influential execs in TV sports. He’ll continue to oversee sports at Fox but with “a broad strategic and operational role across FNG” including Fox Broadcasting, reporting to FNG CEO Peter Rice, the company says. Freer seems to have a halo from the launch of Fox Sports 1 in August. Rice praised Freer’s “impressive skills as both an operator and builder of businesses” and said he’ll be “a key partner for me in overseeing and driving continued growth of our global channels business which spans nearly 400 channels in 200 countries.” Execs who’ll now report to Freer include Michael Biard, President of Distribution at Fox Networks; Toby Byrne, President of National Ad Sales at Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Sports Media Group; Lou LaTorre, President of Advertising Sales at Fox Cable Entertainment Networks, Fox Hispanic Media Group; and Kyle Sherman, EVP Home Team Sports. FNG finance & business development, corporate communications, legal and human resources functions will report jointly to Rice and Freer.
Here’s the company’s release: Read More »