Earley will be Berman’s partner in the Fox-based production venture that has a wide mandate to develop content for outlets across the Fox Networks Group as well as film, digital and legit properties.
Earley’s new position is effective immediately, as insiders say he is at Jackal’s offices today.
The appointment marks a reunion for Earley and Berman, who worked closely together during Berman’s tenure as entertainment president at Fox Broadcasting Co. from 2000 to 2005. Earley rose through the publicity and marketing ranks during his 21 years at Fox, before stepping down last year after nearly two years as chief operating officer.
Moving to Jackal Group fits Earley’s goal of finding a position that would allow him to be intimately involved in shepherding projects from their inception — and it keeps him close to colleagues at Fox as Jackal is currently behind the network’s new comedy “Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life” and the hotly anticipated “Rocky Horror Picture Show” musical special, which bows this fall.
“It was really important to me to get closer to the creative process,” Earley tells Variety. “I get to bring all of my operational marketing and publicity experience to it. I feel lucky to be partnering with Gail who I know so well. We’re going to be very hands on.”
Earley noted that he was at a lower level post at the time Berman was running Fox’s entertainment arm. “But I always fancied myself as her partner in some way. It’s going to be really fun to actually be in that position.”
Earley also cited Berman’s “exquisite taste and fearlessness” as a producer, when speaking of his excitement for his new post.
Berman, to whom Earley will report, commented on Friday: “I am thrilled to welcome Joe at a time when the Jackal Group is experiencing the kind of measurable creative and operational surge that will benefit from his expertise and overall presence. Plus, Joe is an exceptional leader with a sharp eye for terrific content, and he possesses a special ability of inspiring those around him with seeming ease. I am so happy to have him as a friend and creative partner as we as we continue to build the company.”
Before his longtime run, Earley spent many years in media relations at HBO. The highly regarded exec began his entertainment career in production and development with “The Walking Dead’s” Gale Anne Hurd.