Nearly two weeks after Peter Chernin was named chairman of 20th Century Fox’s film wing, Fox Broadcasting Co. staffers are still wondering who will replace him.
Various sources believe that the job was offered to Sandy Grushow, Chernin’s No. 2 man as exec VP of the Fox Entertainment Group, but that he rejected the initial terms and negotiations are continuing.
The apparent stumbling block was said to be the deal’s length, with Fox seeking a short-term, one-year contract to hedge their bets in promoting the 32 -year-old executive, who oversees current programming, scheduling and all marketing-related activities. (Chernin inked a three-year deal when he first signed with Fox in 1989.)
The assumption in most quarters is still that Grushow will get the job, but Fox has given no signs of naming a successor since Chernin was named to his new post Nov. 2, and Grushow couldn’t be reached for comment.
Fox reportedly has talked seriously thus far to only one outside candidate: HBO Independent Prods. president Chris Albrecht, whose unit has become the weblet’s top program supplier. However, sources say HBO may be reluctant to release him from his contract before next June, after the prime time selling season has concluded.
Many Fox insiders are edgy about the prolonged hiring process and hope Grushow ends up being tapped, believing his one perceived shortcoming, a lack of development experience, can be overcome more easily than bringing an outsider aboard at this stage in Fox’s development.