Fox Broadcasting has begun restructuring its network distribution division in light of recent changes and the expected departure of network distribution executive vice president Ken Solomon.
Solomon will exit the network to join DreamWorks as a senior TV executive. Although his contract with Fox does not expire for several months, his departure maybe sooner.
Also exiting is network distribution senior veepee Lana Corbi who is joining Blackstar L.L.C. as president and chief operating officer in October. Blackstar is the minority-controlled group owner that was created in part by a $20 million cash infusion from Fox to acquire small market network affils and convert them to the weblet. Blackstar, headed by John Oxendine, has a deal to acquire ABC affils KHGI Kearney, KSNB Superior and KWNB Hayes Center, all Nebraska stations belonging Fant Broadcasting.
To beef up distribution staff, Fox has tapped Twentieth TV sales vet Victoria Quoss as senior vice president. Quoss most recently was vice president, Eastern regional manager. She will be based in New York and reports to Solomon. Quoss will oversee Fox’s network distribution offices in both New York and Washington.
Quoss and Adam Ware, senior vice president, network distribution based in Fox’s Los Angeles headquarters, will likely take on greater responsibilities after Solomon’s departure. Fox has also upped Diana Wilkin to vice president, network distribution from executive director. She reports to Ware.
Hoping to avoid the controversy that surrounded the Fox and Savoy Pictures-backed entity SF Broadcasting when former Fox exec Tom Herwitz was named president, Corbi said her move “was an independent career decision – an opportunity to realize the vision of successful minority-controlled broadcast ownership.”
Among all the changes, network distribution prexy Preston Padden will continue to oversee the division, though he, too is in line for a title change and broader responsibilities in News Corp.
For Solomon, the move to DreamWorks will allow him to move into the creative side of the business.
Solomon will have a broad role at DreamWorks that will encompass both programming and business. He will work closely with former Buena Vista TV prexy Bob Jacquemin in marketing, sales and distribution for the company as well as work on the creative end.
The Fox exec was wooed to DreamWorks by studio partners Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg, sources said.
Although Solomon’s career has mostly been in syndication sales and, recently, affiliate relations, executives who’ve worked closely with him compliment his acumen for programming and production.