You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Fox Kids Worldwide taps Loesch vice chair

NEW YORK — Rupert Murdoch took the first step in bringing some management discipline to his children’s programming empire by naming Margaret Loesch to the post of vice chairman of Fox Kids Worldwide.

Sources say Murdoch’s plan is to use Fox Kids Worldwide as the umbrella organization for three divisions: the Fox Kids Network, whose main responsibility is the distribution of 19 hours a week of children’s shows on Fox stations; Saban Entertainment, one of the largest syndicators of kid shows, with 12 series in production for 1997-98; and the Family Channel, which Fox Kids Worldwide bought last month for $1.9 billion.

To take on her new assignment, Loesch will relinquish her current dual titles: chairman and CEO of Fox Kids Networks Worldwide and president of Fox Kids Worldwide.

Haim Saban, chairman and CEO of Saban Entertainment, will also continue as chairman and CEO of Fox Kids Worldwide, assuming “a more active role in the management of the day-to-day operations,” according to a spokesman.

Saban’s more active role in Fox Kids Worldwide, the spokesman says, will allow Loesch to step back and focus on the big picture, particularly when it comes to integrating the Family Channel into the total operation.

The goal of Murdoch and Saban, who are 50-50 partners in Fox Kids Worldwide, is to transform the Family Channel into a major competitor to Nickelodeon, which collects more annual cash flow — an estimated $259 million in 1997 — than any other cable network except ESPN, according to Paul Kagan Associates. Sources say by the fall of 1998, Family could be running children’s shows every day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., teen-oriented series from 6 to 8 p.m. and all-family programming in primetime and latenight.

A cable strategy has become important to Fox Kids because the Nielsen ratings for children’s programming on the broadcast networks have shown a steady decline over the past few years, mirroring the primetime falloff in audience of ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.

Loesch’s more immediate mission will be to find a president for the Fox Kids Network and for the Family Channel, according to the spokesman.

The Fox Kids Network includes more than the 19 hours a week of children’s shows on Fox, four hours of which run on Saturday morning and the rest on weekday mornings and afternoons. It also creates satellite-delivered programming blocks in Australia, the United Kingdom and Latin America. The network also produces a weekly radio program, “Fox Kids Countdown,” that reaches more than 215 stations in the U.S. And Fox publishes and distributes the quarterly kids magazine Totally Kids.

More Scene

  • Don Cheadle and Andrew Rannells Black

    Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells Talk Snorting 'Coke' on 'Black Monday'

    “Black Monday” show creators David Caspe and Jordan Cahen divulged an intriguing detail to come later in the first season of the new Showtime comedy at its world premiere, held at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on Monday night in Los Angeles. “The fourth or fifth episode opens with a sexual harassment seminar, which very well [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron attends the 44th Annual

    Alfonso Cuarón to LAFCA: 'Thanks to Your Help We Can Break Down Walls'

    Inclusion was the big winner at the L.A. Film Critics Association Awards, which was held Saturday night at the InterContinental in Century City. “This year’s winners are the most diverse in LAFCA’s 43-year history,” announced its president, Claudia Puig, adding that 14 out of their 18 awards were won by women and people of color. [...]

  • Mandatory Credit: Photo by Max Malandrino/REX/Shutterstock

    Hollywood Power Players Assemble to Save Iconic Deli Nate 'n Al

    A group of Hollywood executives and celebrities have banded together with the intent to save Beverly Hills deli and star haunt Nate ‘n Al, a stone’s throw from tourist destination Rodeo Drive. A consortium of investors including music kingpin Irving Azoff and wife Shelli, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Jeff Shell, and Rande Gerber and [...]

  • Charlie Collier, FOX Chief Executive Officer

    'The Passage' Team Talks Diversifying Races, Genders and Ages of Book Characters

    “The Passage” star Saniyya Sidney was unaware that the book version of her character was originally white until her father, a fan of Justin Cronin’s apocalyptic trilogy, informed her during the audition process. “I was like, ‘Oh, she is?'” Sidney told Variety at Thursday’s series premiere in Santa Monica, Calif. “And when I got it, [...]

  • KiKi Layne and Stephan James'If Beale

    Regina King Praised by 'If Beale Street Could Talk' Co-Stars for New 50/50 Initiative

    Two days had passed since Kiki Layne and Stephan James had attended their first Golden Globes and the “If Beale Street Could Talk” co-stars were still trying to wrap their heads around having been there. “It was such a special night — and pretty unreal,” says James, who was also nominated for his work opposite Julia Roberts [...]

  • Steven Van Zandt, Edie Falco, Tony

    'The Sopranos' 20th Anniversary Reunion: Cast, Producers Remember James Gandolfini

    Jan. 9’s 20th anniversary reunion of the cast and producers of HBO’s “The Sopranos” was a raucous family gathering from its first moments. “I saw a picture of myself in the newspaper,” series creator David Chase said at the start of the event. “And I thought, 20 years. Jesus Christ.” “People come up to me,” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content