You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Preston Beckman set for Fox segue

Longtime skedding topper to shift to advisory role

Longtime Fox Broadcasting Co. skedding topper Preston Beckman, the reigning dean of network program planning execs, will transition to a new role as senior strategist for Fox Networks Group.

Starting in June, the new role calls for Beckman to offer skedding, programming and research insights for various Fox Networks Group outlets, reporting to Peter Rice, FNG chairman of entertainment.

“Fox has been incredibly fortunate to have Preston guiding our schedule for the past decade and seven consecutive years of No. 1 finishes,” Rice said in announcing Beckman’s segue. “His strategic mind and love of television make him the Muhammad Ali of scheduling executives.”

The decision to shift to a lower gear came at Beckman’s behest. He had initially planned to retire this year, but Rice convinced him to remain in the fold in a different capacity. “He was very persuasive and gracious,” Beckman said.

Beckman has been with Fox the past 11 years, serving as exec veep of strategic program planning and research. Before Fox, he spent nearly 20 years at NBC and was a key member of the Peacock’s programming team in its 1990s heyday.

Highlights of his Fox tenure include the decision to sked the real-time drama “24” in an uninterrupted January-May run and helping to craft the skedding and twice-weekly skedding pattern for “American Idol,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and “The X Factor.” Beckman was quick to praise the programming execs he’s worked with over the years, including Rice and entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly and network alumni Peter Liguori and Gail Berman.

Beckman maintains that the role of broadcast networks and scheduling remains vital, despite all the industry focus on on-demand viewing options and changing consumer behaviors. “To me the exciting thing about this business is that you’re still going to need hits,” Beckman said. “It’s still about how you aggregate audiences and use your schedule to create new hits.”

Beckman is well-liked in the biz and known for the candid observations he shares on his Twitter feed, where he’s dubbed “The Masked Scheduler.”

More TV

  • Florence and the Machine

    Florence & the Machine Premiere New Song on 'Game of Thrones'

    [pmc=related] If the voice singing the song during the end credits of “Game of Thrones” tonight sounded familiar — or unmistakable — yes, it was Florence + the Machine. The group’s version of the original “Game of Thrones” song “Jenny of Oldstones” debuted during the closing credits of this season’s second episode, following a rendition [...]

  • Game of Thrones Fan Theories

    Best Fan Theories for the Final Season of 'Game of Thrones'

    After eight seasons, “Game of Thrones” fans will finally see if their long-held theories will pay off. Dozens of important characters and a complex plot have made diehard viewers try to foresee plot twists for years. With the original R+L=J theory confirmed, meaning that Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark were the real parents of Jon [...]

  • Abigail Disney on Bob Iger

    Abigail Disney Calls Bob Iger's $65 Million Compensation 'Insane'

    Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger’s total compensation for Disney’s fiscal 2018 was a whopping $65.6 million. Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Disney co-founder Roy Disney, calls that sum “insane.”  While speaking at the Fast Company Impact Council, the filmmaker and philanthropist insisted that this level of corporate payout has a “corrosive effect on society.” Disney took [...]

  • Tryion Lannister Game of Thrones Episode

    'Game of Thrones' Season 8 Episode 2 Leaks

    The second episode of “Game of Thrones'” final season has leaked online ahead of its Sunday night debut. Fear not, “Thrones” fans: though the internet is dark and full of spoilers, this post is free of any details from Season 8 episode 2. Rumblings of a leak began on the “Game of Thrones” Reddit and [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Signs of Solidarity and Strain Emerge as Week 2 of WGA-Talent Agency Standoff Begins

    Hundreds of WGA members rallied solidly behind their union last week as the industry grappled with uncertainties spurred by the sudden break between writers and their talent agency representatives. But as the standoff heads into its second week, signs of strain among some WGA members are beginning to emerge. Shalom Auslander, author and creator of [...]

  • Jon Snow Arya Stark Game of

    'Game of Thrones' Final Season Vegas Odds Reveal Wild Theories

    With “Game of Thrones” hype at an all-time high, Las Vegas may be raking in as much money as the Iron Bank. HBO’s fantasy masterpiece has seized the gambling world’s attention nearly as much as the Super Bowl or Kentucky Derby. Fans spew countless theories on social media, such as which characters will be axed [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content