Gary Newman and Dana Walden, the long-serving CEOs of production powerhouse 20th Century Fox TV, will take on oversight of Fox Broadcasting in a restructuring that elevates the duo to the post of chairman-CEOs of Fox Television Group.
Walden and Newman, who have jointly run the TV studio since late 1999, will continue to steer the 20th Century Fox TV group, which production subsidiaries including Fox TV Studios and Fox 21, in addition to now overseeing all aspects of the Fox network.
The duo will now report to Peter Rice, chairman-CEO of Fox Networks Group. The studio arm had previously been separate from the network arm and reported directly to Chase Carey, president-COO of 21st Century Fox. The fact that 21st Century Fox opted to align the management of the studio and the network is a sign of how significantly the Fox network’s profits are tied to serving as a platform for programming that can later be sold in syndication and international markets.
“As we look to the future of the broadcast television business, it is clear that the best path forward is to operate our creative and broadcast divisions under the leadership of a single team, and that Gary and Dana are the perfect executives to take on this new role,” said Carey. “While TCFTV and FBC will each continue as an open supplier and an open network, respectively, the closer alignment of these two properties, coupled with a unified vision from Dana and Gary, gives us a clear advantage in creating even more hit content that will benefit both businesses. We are incredibly fortunate to have two such accomplished leaders already under our roof to take on these important new roles.”
In announcing the news, 21st Century Fox emphasized that 20th TV would remain an autonomous operation focused on selling shows to the broader universe of buyers beyond Fox’s walls. And the Fox network will remain open to projects from outside suppliers.
The promotions for Walden and Newman come on the heels of Kevin Reilly’s departure as chairman of Fox Entertainment, overseeing programming for the broadcast network. Fox is deep in rebuilding mode, as its tentpole “American Idol” franchise deflated last season. Reilly, who had reported to Rice, exited in June after seven years in the post.
“Over the past 15 years, Dana and Gary have raised the bar for the rest of the industry with respect to creative vision, close-knit relationships with top talent and an unmatched track record of hit programming,” said Rice. “At a time when the demand for content has never been higher, there is no doubt that we strengthen and galvanize our television business – both from a creative and programming standpoint – with Gary and Dana taking on these vital new leadership roles.”
In a memo to staffers, Newman and Walden called the expansion of their duties a chance to “create greater paths to success for our creative partners.” Here is the full memo:
Today begins an exciting new chapter in the history of our two great companies, Twentieth Century Fox Television and Fox Broadcasting Company. In this incredibly dynamic television landscape, uniting these two companies under one management will foster more successful collaboration among our executives and create greater paths to success for our creative partners. We are humbled by the challenge, energized by the opportunities and emboldened by the fact that we’ll be joined by such talented executives on both sides of the organization.
To our colleagues at the studio, you are responsible for the incredible growth and success of Twentieth Century Fox Television over the past fifteen years and we are so proud of all we’ve accomplished together. As we move forward, we will look to each of you to step up and take on even greater leadership. You’ve established an environment where creators are free to develop their biggest and boldest ideas, and we’ve placed those projects where they have had the best chance to succeed. That will not change. We’ll continue to support the visions of our creators, wherever they may lead us.
To our colleagues at the network, we couldn’t be more excited to be joining you later this month. We have a long history of creating and nurturing culturally-defining programming together, from The Simpsons to The X-Files to Glee to name just a few. And over the years you have enjoyed tremendous success with iconic programming from outside suppliers and have fantastic relationships with creators and production companies all over town. Be assured the network will remain committed to developing the boldest ideas, no matter the sources. We want the best shows on FBC, period. A thriving FBC will mean a more fertile ground to nurture the passion projects of all creators.
We are also happy to be joining Peter Rice’s team of extraordinarily talented managers at Fox Networks Group. We’ve had wonderful relationships in the past and our new structure means even more collaboration in the future, which will benefit the studio and the network.
So now, we ask you to join us as the real work begins. We look forward to leading this new Fox TV Group to greater heights than either company has achieved singularly. And we’ll do it together.