UPDATED: Despite initial statements that they won’t be appointing a President of Entertainment at Fox following Kevin Reilly’s exit, Dana Walden and Gary Newman have named Fox TV Studios President David Madden to the position. Madden, a respected veteran producer and studio executive, had been rumored for the job since before 20th Century Fox TV Chairmen and CEOs Walden and Newman took over the network last month, though he was only approached after Walden and Newman were officially named Fox TV Group chairmen and CEOs. Madden’s division, FtvS, has done very well with such series as FX’s The Shield and The Americans and USA’s Burn Notice and White Collar, and he has been highly regarded by Walden and Newman, to whom he will continue to report. Despite earlier chatter that siblings FtvS and 20th TV’s similarly cable-focused unit Fox 21 might be combined in light of Madden’s move to Fox, the plan is, at least for now, for them to remain separate, with search for Madden’s replacement underway. FtvS SVP Nancy Cotton will run the studio until a new president is named. (I here there is still a chance that FtvS and Fox 21 may end up together after Newman and Walden examine carefully all possible scenarios.)
As President of Entertainment, Madden will oversee scripted programming and development, alternative entertainment and casting at the network. “David is an incredible creative executive with an impeccable eye for talent who is respected tremendously by the creative community, his network and agency partners, and his colleagues alike,” Walden and Newman said. “Over his nearly 15-year tenure at Fox Television Studios, David helped transform FTVS into one of the premier brands in cable programming, and we are elated to bring his stellar expertise and reputation to the Fox network.”
Meanwhile, Fox’s COO Joe Earley, who had been overseeing development and programming at Fox for the past six months, is being upped to COO for Fox Television Group. He will report to Walden and Newman, joining them in the executive suite of the newly formed television group, and will be charged with maximizing opportunities for the portfolio of shows produced by 20th TV for Fox. He also will continue to have direct oversight of marketing and communications, digital, multiplatform programming, research, talent relations, scheduling and audience strategy at the network. 20th TV’s top executives — President of Creative Affairs Jonathan Davis, President of Business Operations Howard Kurtzman and EVP Casting Sharon Klein — will continue to report to Newman and Walden. “We are unbelievably excited for Joe to join us in the Fox Television Group as we work to more closely align our network and studio businesses,” said Newman and Walden.
Earley is well liked within the Fox Networks Group. While he was new to development, raising questions whether Walden and Newman would want to bring in a more experienced executive to shepherd Fox’s slate as they stretch themselves to oversee programming for both the network and the studio, his abilities as a strategic thinker and operator are valued at the company. “I think the future of Joe Earley is very bright. He is a really terrific executive,” Fox Networks Group chairman and CEO Peter Rice told Deadline last month.
I hear Earley was in serious consideration for a president of entertainment position at Fox, but that would’ve meant him focusing 100% on programming and dropping all other areas he has been involved in. Seeing him in action liaising with both the network and studio over the past few of weeks brought up the idea to give Earley responsibilities at the umbrella company, his first time working with a TV studio. With Earley set for a new job, I hear Walden and Newman approached Madden about the president of entertainment position less than two weeks ago.