Fox TV veteran Mitchell Stern has been promoted to chairman and CEO of Fox Television Stations (Daily Variety, June 3).
Stern’s duties will be expanded to include oversight of Fox’s syndie production-distribution arm, Twentieth Television, headed by prexy Rick Jacobson. Stern has headed Fox’s O&O group as prexy and chief operating officer since January 1993.
Stern said his aim is to increase the level of coordination between the Fox-owned stations and Twentieth TV. Stern and Jacobson already have a close working relationship, as much of Twentieth’s syndie fare is developed with the O&Os in mind.
“We want to create programming for the stations using the sort of vertically integrated organization that Fox is all about,” said Stern. “We gain all the energy that comes from combining the two (divisions.) It’ll just force Rick and I to be that much smarter.”
Stern first joined Fox as veepee and chief financial officer of the station group in July 1986, just three months before the launch of the Fox netlet. He was named general manager of Fox’s Los Angeles O&O in 1989 and soon after moved through a series of senior management posts at the station group.
Before coming to Fox, Stern spent eight years with the CBS O&O group in a variety of senior financial management positions.