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Biz VP Bersch named Fox Interactive prexy

Exec brought some order into film biz, Mechanic sez

Twentieth Century Fox business affairs VP Steven Bersch has been tapped as prexy of Fox Interactive. He replaces Jon Richmond in part of a larger exec shuffle at News Corp.

Reporting directly to Fox chairman/CEO Bill Mechanic, Bersch will be responsible for driving all aspects of the Fox Interactive strategy. This includes the development and production of the interactive games as well as the supervision of the games’ marketing, sales, and distribution.

Fox parent News Corp. announced Wednesday that Richmond is leaving his post to replace Rupert Murdoch’s youngest son James as prexy of News Digital Media; James Murdoch moves to the corporate side of the media empire to become the new exec VP of News Corp.

“Bersch has been instrumental in wrangling this studio and bringing some order into the film business,” Mechanic said. “He’s an exceptional, entrepreneurial executive who has had ideas for movies and has wanted to run his own business. I always told him that at the first opportunity that opened up, I would to that. This is the one that made sense.”

Revenue generator

Mechanic added that the interactive division is “one of the growth areas for us right now, and great revenue generator,” posting more than $100 million in calendar 1998 revenues.

“I’m thrilled by the opportunity to join the Fox Interactive team that my colleague Jon Richmond has built so successfully,” Bersch added in a statement.

Bersch came to Fox in 1994 after holding a similar post at Paramount Pictures business affairs.

Among the Fox Interactive product already in the pipeline are game properties like “Alien Vs. Predator,” “The X-Files,” “Die Hard Trilogy,” “Simpsons Virtual Springfield” and the entire Fox Sports brand of videogames.