By Cynthia Littleton
David Haslingden will exit his post as prexy and chief operating officer of Fox Networks Group at the end of this year, wrapping his nearly 20-year run at News Corp.
Haslingden's departure is spurred largely by family considerations; he's said to be eager to return to his native Australia with his wife and teenage daughters.
Haslingden's role as the top business exec at the Fox Networks Group — comprised of Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox Sports Media Group, FX, Fox Intl. Channels and the National Geographic Channels — was eclipsed last month by the promotion of Peter Rice to chairman and CEO of the division.
Rice's elevation from head of entertainment for Fox Networks Group also spurred the segue of Fox Sports chairman David Hill to a News Corp. advisory role.
Haslingden was the architect of News Corp.'s international channels strategy, having steered the company's aggressive expansion of Fox-branded channels just as overseas TV markets were opening up to new commercial entrants. News Corp. is now expecting the 250-plus FIC channels to generate $1 billion in operating income by 2015.
Haslingden's "leadership in the international television marketplace has uniquely positioned Fox to succeed for years to come in what has quickly become one of the company's fastest-growing business segments," said News Corp. prexy-COO Chase Carey in announcing Haslingden's resignation.
Haslingden served as prexy of FIC from 2001 until he relocated from Hong Kong to Los Angeles in early 2011 to become prexy-COO of Fox Networks Group.
The exec has been with News Corp. since 1993, serving in various capacities in Oz, Asia and Europe as well as the U.S.
Haslingden called his tenure at News Corp. "the most productive and exhilirating experience I could have ever imagined" and but acknowledged that the separation from his family in Australia had taken its toll. "I'm delighted to be on my way home," he said.