Exec named president of production

Debbie Liebling has officially joined Universal Pictures as president of production.

The exec is leaving 20th Century Fox as executive VP of production in order to take the position that opened up after Donna Langley was upped to co-chair of the studio in October, along with Adam Fogelson, who serves as chair.

Liebling will report to Langley when she starts the job in January.

“Debbie’s fresh perspective and years of experience in the industry perfectly complement our seasoned production team,” Langley said. “Her keen instincts and close relationships with filmmakers and talent make her the right person to help us shape future Universal film slates.”

Liebling has long been sought after when top spots become available at studios or production companies.

Her appointment at Universal had been anticipated (Daily Variety, Dec. 2).

“This is both an exciting and challenging time in Universal’s storied film history, and I’m looking forward to working with Donna and her team to shape the next chapter,” Liebling said.

Universal was attracted to Liebling’s history of developing and producing comedies that strike a chord with audiences, including “Borat” and “Dodgeball,” while exec VP of production at Fox and as president of production at short-lived genre label Fox Atomic.

Before Fox, Liebling developed and supervised “South Park” while serving as a top programming executive at Comedy Central.

She’s also served as West Coast executive in charge of production for Nickelodeon and supervised West Coast production and development at FX.

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