Evans exits Fox for TCI

News Corp. veteran David Evans is leaving the Fox fold to become president and chief operating officer of the international arm of cable giant Tele-Communications Inc. as of Sept. 1.

Evans was upped last July from president and chief operating officer of Fox Television to exec VP, office of the chairman for News Corp., where he had oversight of Rupert Murdoch’s worldwide satellite operations.

Fox insiders speculated Evans’ departure was prompted in part by the collapse of Murdoch’s plan to become a major player in the domestic satellite TV business with the now-aborted launch of American Sky Broadcasting. Evans’ contract with News Corp. expires at the end of this month.

“David’s experience, particularly in building programming platforms internationally, will create enormous value for TCI,” said company chairman and CEO John Malone.

At Tele-Communications Intl. (TINTA), Evans is expected to take over CEO duties from Fred Vierra sometime next year, when Vierra will become TINTA’s vice chairman. In the interim, however, Evans will report to Vierra.

Wide-ranging interests

In his new post, Evans will oversee TINTA’s wide-ranging programming and distribution interests. TINTA, a separately traded company 85% owned by TCI, provides cable and telephony services to more than 3 million subscribers in Europe, Asia and Latin America. The company owns stakes in nearly 40 programming services, ranging from Flextech in the U.K. to the Singapore-based Asia Business News.

TINTA also is a partner with News Corp. in Sky Entertainment Services Latin America, a direct-to-home satellite TV provider with operations in Mexico, Brazil and other Latin American regions. Evans has served as president and CEO of the Sky Latin America venture for the past two years.

No immediate replacement for Evans was named at News Corp. or Sky Latin America. Chase Carey, CEO of Fox Television and co-chief operating officer of News Corp., issued a statement wishing Evans well and adding that the Sky Latin America partners have “great confidence” in the No. 2 exec under Evans, Mark Goldman, Sky’s senior VP and general manager.

Evans, a native Australian who joined Fox in 1993 as president of Fox Circle Prods., said he’s looking forward to broadening his scope with the move to TINTA.

“I like the idea of remaining involved with (Sky Latin America), but I’m also anxious to be involved again in other regions like Britain,” Evans said. “I saw this move as a great opportunity to do both.”

New program focus

With new digital TV platforms whetting the global appetite for original programming, Evans said he also expects to focus on new programming and production ventures for TINTA. Evans will maintain offices in Los Angeles and TCI’s headquarters in Englewood, Colo.

Before joining Fox Circle Prods., Evans served as international president for News Corp.’s British Sky Broadcasting, following an 18-month stint as BSkyB’s executive director of marketing and distribution. Before his tenure with BSkyB, Evans held senior management posts with Qintex Entertainment, MGM/UA and Hal Roach Studios.

In 1994, Evans was named president and chief operating officer of Fox Television, where he worked closely with Carey in overseeing Fox’s network, syndication and broadcast operations, in addition to the launch of the FX cable network.

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