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Gold to mine laffs alone

Fox's comedy king ankles

After three years at the net, Fox head of comedy Jeremy Gold is ankling his post.

Fox hasn’t yet identified his replacement; network ended talks with HBO exec Sarah Condon about taking over Gold’s position.

Gold will remain at Fox through July, when his contract officially expires. After that, he’s itching to start producing on his own.

“I’m ready to pursue something more entrepreneurial, and have more ownership over my creative endeavors,” Gold said. “When you’re an executive, you’re giving away your best ideas. I’m looking forward to taking an idea from inception to fruition.”

Gold said he is “entertaining several opportunities” to either join an existing company or set up a shingle with other partners.

“I don’t want to do something that’s just me,” he said. “I enjoy the collaborative process. It strengthens your own chances for success when you partner with other like-minded people.”

Gold has been senior VP of comedy development at Fox since 2003; before that, he spent 2½ years as VP of comedy at sister studio 20th Century Fox TV. Gold said collaborating with 20th in his next gig is “certainly a possibility.”

For now, Gold will help in the search for his replacement and get to see the early evolution of the laffers he developed last season, including “‘Til Death” and “Happy Hour.”

“While wishing we could convince him to stay, I understand his desire to focus on (other) ventures,” said Fox programming exec VP Craig Erwich.

Gold’s departure is the second recent shuffle inside Fox’s comedy department; veep Samie Kim Falvey is departing to take over ABC’s comedy department (Daily Variety, April 25).

Among his highlights at Fox, Gold pointed to the Emmy comedy win for “Arrested Development,” as well as the opportunity to develop two shows (“American Dad,” “The Winner”) with Seth MacFarlane.

Before 20th Century Fox TV, Gold was veep of development for producer Robert Morton’s Panamort TV and Gotham-based director of primetime casting for ABC.

(Josef Adalian contributed to this report.)

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