Fox sets Network Group restructuring

Entertainment ops to fall under Peter Rice; sports under David Hill

News Corp. has restructured its Fox Network Group operations, consolidating entertainment operations under Peter Rice and sports under David Hill.

Move had been expected (Daily Variety, Jan. 12). It marks the latest expansion of turf for Rice, whose title shifts to chairman of entertainment for Fox Networks Group.

The promotion for Rice, the former Fox Searchlight whiz who was named chairman of entertainment at Fox Broadcasting less than a year ago, cements his status as the fastest-rising star in the News Corp. galaxy. The restructuring also reflects News Corp. chief operating officer Chase Carey’s efforts to better align the management of Fox’s TV operations under key execs tasked with keeping an eye on the big picture for critical sectors like entertainment and sports.

Rice and Hill will continue to report to Fox Networks Group chairman Tony Vinciquerra. The odd man out in the restructure is Fox National Cable Networks prexy Rich Battista. Carey made a point of noting that Battista was “a valued member of the company” and that they were actively looking for another role for the exec.

With the expansion of duties, Rice will oversee FX Networks, whose topper, John Landgraf, previously reported to Battista.

Hill, a longtime News Corp. vet, will consolidate oversight of all Fox Sports channels as well as Speed and Fuel TV. Hill has served as chairman of Fox Sports Television Group since 1999.

David Haslinden, News Corp.’s global CEO of National Geographic Channels, continues to oversee Fox’s Nat Geo-branded outlets.

This reorganization is not targeted at short term change, but at maintaining our momentum while better aligning us in key content areas for long term growth as we take these businesses to new heights over the coming years,” Carey said in announcing the shuffle.

Vinciquerra said Rice and Hill “have done a tremendous job of growing their respective businesses and their continued leadership will place us in an enviable position as we move forward.”

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