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Fox names Wilson diversity chief

Exec to continue to implement NAACP goals

Six months after announcing a host of diversity initiatives, Fox has named former Times Mirror exec Mitsy Wilson to oversee those goals.

Wilson, who joined the network this week as senior vice president of diversity development, will handle the development, execution and evaluation of diversity goals for Fox and sister studio 20th Century Fox. The exec reports to Fox Entertainment prexy Gail Berman, who made the announcement Thursday.

Fox becomes the third major network to install an executive at the vice president level or higher to oversee network diversity. (ABC employs an exec at the director level.)

Chief among Wilson’s mandates are implementing those initiatives the network, under then-entertainment prexy Doug Herzog, signed in February with the NAACP and a coalition of minority groups.

“When I first looked at it, my comment was ‘wow,'” Wilson said of the agreement. “It is very do-able, but it’s not going to happen overnight … I have to take a look at the commitment the organization has made in terms of recognizing the fact that this is a critical issue.”

Beyond the Fox network, Wilson will also work with Fox Entertainment Group-related production entities such as Regency Television, the Greenblatt-Janollari Studio and Fox Television Studios Prods. The priority for now, however, remains keeping the network in check.

“What we want to do is build an organization where diversity is not a buzzword but becomes a way of life,” Wilson declared.

She said she’ll meet with Berman and Fox Television Entertainment Group chair Sandy Grushow on a weekly basis “until we feel comfortable we’re heading in the right direction.”

The exec spent the past five years as Times-Mirror’s top diversity exec, working her way up to vice president of leadership and organizational development, diversity. She also spent seven years at Times-Mirror Cable Television and served time at Continental Airlines and the New York board of education.

CBS named Josie Thomas senior vice president of diversity in April, while NBC named Paula Madison vice president of diversity in February. The positions were created as a result of last year’s uproar over a lack of diverse representation at the nets.

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