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Landgraf lands in topper spot at FX

News Corp. taps exec for Liguori post

News Corp. has appointed John Landgraf president-general manager of FX.

Landgraf, who’s presided as entertainment czar for little over a year, succeeds former topper Peter Liguori. Landgraf led a shortlist of candidates up for the position (Daily Variety, April 12) that became vacant when Liguori was tapped to run programming for Fox.

Landgraf’s new responsibilities include overseeing day-to-day business operations for both FX and sister cabler Fox Movie Channel, in addition to programming, development, scheduling, PR, research and business affairs.

“John is a very talented guy. He had an edge because not only has he been here for awhile, he’s already run a TV company. That makes him both extremely creative, as we’ve seen, and absolutely able to deal in that other side of the business,” said Fox Networks Group prexy-CEO Tony Vinciquerra.

At FX, Landgraf doubled the number of original series — greenlighting a block of comedies, a reality skein from Morgan Spurlock, the Steven Bochco war drama “Over There” and the Andre Braugher starrer “Thief” — and helped lure Glenn Close to join the fourth season of “The Shield.”

Vinciquerra said with this promotion, Landgraf will continue to execute FX’s three-pronged strategy for growth — increased quality of syndication product (“That ’70s Show” and “The Bernie Mac Show” are in the pipeline); aggressive spending for theatrical movies; and ramped-up efforts in prestige original programming.

For the first quarter, FX is up 6% in 18-49 and up 13% in 18-34 — growth attributed to strong showings from movies and the return of “The Shield.”

“Above all else, John stands out from the crowd with his passion for FX,” Vinciquerra said. “He lives and breathes the brand and product this channel creates, and I think he’s instilled that in his staff.”

Before joining FX, Landgraf was president of Jersey TV, which produced “Karen Sisco,” “Reno 911!” and “UC: Undercover.” He also spent five years at NBC, last serving as a VP of primetime series, helping to develop “The West Wing,” “Profiler” and “Suddenly Susan.” He began his TV career at Sarabande Productions.