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Roger Ailes Loses Oversight of Fox Syndication Division

Twentieth TV wing now reports into TV studio chiefs Gary Newman and Dana Walden

As part of News Corp.’s broader restructuring of 21st Century Fox, Fox News chief Roger Ailes has lost a chunk of his turf — the syndie distrib arm — to 20th Century Fox TV chairman Gary Newman and Dana Walden.

Twentieth TV president Greg Meidel (pictured above) will now report to Newman and Walden rather than Jack Abernethy, CEO of the Fox Television Stations unit that Ailes oversees.

The shuffle, announced Monday by 21st Century Fox prexy-COO Chase Carey, reflects the fact that much of the division’s focus is on selling off-network broadcast and cable rights to the primetime series generated by the production divisions that Newman and Walden oversee, as well as shows from FX Prods. Meidel’s group spearheads traditional off-net sales and barter deals for the shows but digital licensing, a fast-growing area for all major TV studios, is handled by a separate division, Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution. That separation is unusual compared to the other majors, where digital and traditional off-net dealmaking authority tends to fall under the same roof.

Twentieth TV is expected to still  pursue some first-run development for daytime and other dayparts. The division has not had much luck with its daytime fare in recent years, including last year’s launch of the short-lived Ricki Lake talkshow revival.

The Fox TV Stations O&O group will also still have a dedicated production and development unit led by Stephen Brown, exec veep of programming and development, who will continue to report to Abernethy.

“This reorganization underscores the changing landscape of the syndication TV business, more closely aligning the distribution of our shows with our content creators,” said Carey.  “I am confident that Greg will continue to be a driving force in capturing revenue opportunities for the programming we produce, including Twentieth Century Fox Television powerhouse brands like ‘Glee’ and ‘Modern Family.’ ”

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