No replacement in wings
Fox Television Network prexy Larry Jacobson has joined Ticketmaster, where he’ll oversee day-to-day operations as president and chief operating officer.
Fox said it has no immediate plans to replace Jacobson. Instead, four execs will report directly to Fox TV chairman-CEO Chase Carey: Del Mayberry, senior veepee and chief financial officer; Bob Quicksilver, exec VP of network distribution; Steven Kuo, director of business development for Fox Group; and Eric Shanks, veep of enhanced programming.
Giles Lundberg, Fox’s research and marketing senior vice president, will now report to Sandy Grushow, chairman of the Fox Television Entertainment Group.
At Ticketmaster, Jacobson will report to Terry Barnes, chairman and CEO of Ticketmaster Group, who made the announcement Friday. Jacobson assumes his new duties Jan. 10.
Set to board
Jacobson is also expected to become a board member of Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch in first quarter 2000.
“We look forward to his development of strong working partnerships with USA’s interactive companies, distribution vehicles and content providers,” Barnes said.
Jacobson said the decision to leave Fox wasn’t easy, but that he was attracted by the new-media models developed by Ticketmaster and corporate parent USA Networks.
“This is one of those rare opportunities to jump into a situation which it’s so clear there is tremendous growth,” he said. “In USA, (Barry) Diller has put together so many fundamentals to unlock the value on the Internet, and Ticketmaster is central to that.
“It’s a combination of a business in transition and a business which is growing its other sister divisions.”
Among media companies, Jacobson said he believes Fox and News Corp. are “best situated for the future,” but that the company’s new-media plans “haven’t been developed as far along as USA’s have.”
“If Fox had taken the local O&Os and then put a kick-ass Internet business on top of that, then that would have been a very interesting combination,” he said.
Jacobson said USA execs recruited him because of his distribution experience at Fox.
“Clearly from the Fox model I believe in localism as a winning strategy,” he said.
Ticketmaster continues to dominate the ticketing industry, holding exclusive rights to most of the nation’s major arenas, stadiums and entertainment venues.
As Fox Television Network prexy, Jacobson worked closely with one-time Sinclair CEO-designate Barry Baker, now prexy/chief operations officer at USA.
“We see Larry Jacobson as someone who really understands USA’s strategic vision,” Baker said. “We have an ambitious agenda, molding platforms where assets can work together in unprecedented ways, leveraging each other’s resources for gains in value across the board.
“On both the traditional content side and in the emerging electronic commerce marketplace, Larry Jacobson will contribute experience,” Baker said.
Jacobson was named president of the Fox Television Network in September 1997. The exec oversaw network distribution, finance, research, operations and business development at the network. Before that, he was exec vice president of Fox Television.
Jacobson was exec veep and chief financial officer at Fox from 1994 to 1996, and held the title of senior VP of finance from 1992 to 1994. He joined Fox in December 1990 as vice president of finance.
Prior to Fox, Jacobson was veepee of corporate finance and strategic planning at Weintraub Entertainment Group, which he joined in 1987 as VP of the motion picture division.