News Corp combines Fox film & TV businesses in one unit

MUMBAI: News Corporation chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch announced a restructuring of the Los Angeles-based Fox businesses to capitalize on management strength and to position the businesses for future creative and economic growth.

“We have simply put the best management team in the entertainment industry. Today’s restructuring, by removing barriers between businesses, will enable us to better share ideas and resources, allowing us to make the most of this team and the talent that populates our ranks,” Murdoch said.

Beginning immediately, the Los Angeles-based creative production divisions will be combined under a single unit reporting to Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairmen Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman. Twentieth Century Fox Television chairmen Gary Newman and Dana Walden will report to Gianopulos and Rothman. Fox Television Studios president Emiliano Calemzuk will report to Newman and Walden.

On the television network side of the business, Fox Networks Group chairman Tony Vinciquerra will continue to head the cable networks, the business aspects of Fox Broadcasting, Fox International Channels, and will gain responsibility for Fox Broadcasting programming.

As part of the restructuring of the network business, Peter Liguori will be stepping down as Fox Broadcasting chairman of entertainment effective immediately. Peter Rice, president of Fox Searchlight, will exit his post at the specialty label, and take on the role of chairman of entertainment, Fox Broadcasting, reporting to Vinciquerra.

“Peter Liguori has been an outstanding Fox executive, not only in leading FBC for three seasons, but in his groundbreaking programming that helped build FX into a general entertainment leader. We wish him continued success,” Murdoch said.

“Peter Rice is one of our most talented creative executives, having championed such films as Slumdog Millionaire, Little Miss Sunshine, and Juno during his tenure at Fox Searchlight. As we increasingly look to apply unconventional approaches to our traditional businesses, I’m convinced Peter Rice is the right person to transform our broadcast television business,” he added.

With Rice’s departure at Fox Searchlight, Nancy Utley and Steve Gilula will jointly run the business, reporting to Gianopulos and Rothman. Fox Searchlight COOs Utley and Gilula, who have been Rice’s partners through all of the unit’s great successes, will assume full authority for the business. Claudia Lewis, president of production, remains in place.

Gianopulos, Rothman and Vinciquerra will report directly to Murdoch. Fox Interactive Media president Peter Levinsohn will also report directly to Murdoch. FOX News Channel and Fox Business Network chairman and CEO and Fox Television Stations and Twentieth Television chairman Roger Ailes will continue to report to Murdoch.