Ira Kurgan, chief of network business operations, Fox Broadcasting Co.

Dealmakers Impact Report 2011: Executives

Kurgan has overseen almost every major financial deal behind the Fox network’s biggest shows.

Among his negotiations: license agreements among Fox, Fremantle and 19 Entertainment for “American Idol”; and the deal among Fox, Syco (Simon Cowell’s entertainment company) and Fremantle for “The X Factor.”

He oversaw the talent agreements behind the revamping of “Idol” and helped nail down A-list talent like judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler for undisclosed (but no doubt elevated) salaries.

“I know the value of confidentiality,” says Kurgan, staying mum on details. “But we’ve been very successful in getting people to come back and I think that says something about people feeling that they’re getting a fair shake. You make a deal that works for you and that (talent feels) reflects their value in the marketplace.”

KEY DEALS: Helped negotiate Cowell’s transition from “American Idol” to “The X Factor”; negotiated the past four deals for the Emmys with the three other networks; oversaw contract negotiations for the new “Idol” judges as well as Ryan Seacrest, Randy Jackson and Nigel Lythgoe; coordinated the renewal of “The Simpsons” through its 25th season.


TOP CAUSE: American Cancer Society

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