Charlie Dixon, a programming executive with experience at both NBC News and ESPN, is set to join Fox Sports as executive vice president of content and production at sports-cable outlets Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Dixon is the first hire made by Jamie Horowitz, the TV executive who joined Fox Sports as president of Fox Sports National Networks in May. The two share a history: Dixon and Horowitz worked together at ESPN, where they co-developed programs like “Olbermann,” “Numbers Never Lie,” Colin Cowherd’s “New Football Show” and a revamped “First Take.” Dixon was most recently a senior VP of development working with MSNBC and NBC News.
He will start working at Fox Sports on August 3 and will be based in Los Angeles, this person said. A Fox Sports spokesman said executives were not immediately available to comment.
Dixon will report to Horowitz, and will oversee all content and production on the two networks. Several senior executives currently in place at Fox Sports are expected to report to Dixon.
The move suggests Horowitz is moving quickly to put his stamp on the two sports outlets, which launched in 2013 and serve as 21st Century Fox’s solution to the increased reliance by U.S. media companies on sports programming. TV viewers are less prone to delay their consumption of games and competitions, and therefore less able to skip past the commercials that support such programming. Fox Sports already has deals in place with Major League Baseball and the National Football League and in recent months has won rights to some Nascar races. Under Horowitz, Fox Sports 1 recently agreed to televise the National Hod Rod Association’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, starting in 2016.
Horowitz joined Fox Sports after a difficult tenure at NBC News, where he was lured from ESPN to shake up operations at morning-news mainstay “Today.” His aggressive moves to revamp the show put off some NBC News executives, according to people familiar with the situation.
Dixon, a 1993 graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a B.S. in European History, also in a previous role. He ran the digital media department at IMG. While there, he launched a made-for-mobile sports network and co-created the American Express Fashion Network for New York Fashion Week.