Inside Move: Fox belt-tightening

TV execs put their green on leaner look

Rupert Murdoch‘s TV empire has gotten a bit smaller over the last three months — literally.

Back in May, as the TV development season wound to a close, a group of execs at Fox Broadcasting and 20th Century Fox TV went out for one of the millions of dinners execs have during upfront week in New York. By the end of the night, belts were being loosened, buttons were popping — and the group decided they collectively needed to shed some pounds.

And so a bet was born: Nine Fox execs, including division topper Sandy Grushow, declared they would each lose 10% of their current body weight by early August. Each would also put $1,000 into a kitty –with those who made their goal getting their coin back and splitting the winnings of the non-losers.

Grushow set the competitive tone on day one when he sent each of the other eight execs two dozen warm Krispy Kreme donuts, along with a note that read, “Good luck.” Other similar “incentives” followed.

With the contest winding to an end, four of the execs — including 20th Century Fox TV prexy Gary Newman — have already shed their 10%, with total weight loss at 150 pounds. The rest will go for a final weigh-in next week.

Grushow, however, won’t be among the winning losers.

He confesses that during a long weekend in Mexico he consumed “a significant number” of margaritas, plus chips and guacamole.

“I sent an e-mail to everyone that said, ‘No mas. No mas,” Grushow laughs. “I take great pride in the fact that I was able to motivate my people. Of course, it cost me a grand — and I put on five.”