Simon Fuller inks deal

'Idol' creator to start new business

Simon Fuller, creator of “American Idol” and founder of 19 Entertainment, has signed a new deal with CKX to continue as exec producer of the Fox powerhouse while also launching an entertainment shingle.

Fuller will remain exec producer of “Idol,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and the upcoming online-based project “If I Can Dream” and retain a share of the profits from those programs. He will also consult for CKX, the parent company of 19. In turn, CKX will have the opportunity to invest in Fuller’s new business.

The moves provide an alternative to Fuller becoming chief exec of CKX, in place of current CKX chairman-CEO Robert F.X. Sillerman. Sillerman bought Fuller’s 19 Entertainment banner in March 2005 for $196 million.

This new arrangement guarantees that Simon and CKX will be working together for many, many years to come,” Sillerman said. “I’m also delighted that, going forward, Simon will be free to focus his creative energy on developing new ideas and projects and that CKX has the opportunity to invest in his new business.”

Fuller said: “As an entrepreneur I feel I am about to enter my prime years, and starting a new entertainment company at this moment fills me with great excitement.”

Word of Fuller’s pact comes three days after “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell announced that this season would be his last with the program.

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