Los Angeles, CA, January 13, 2010 – In a move designed to better align the company’s creative leadership, News Corporation Deputy Chairman, President and Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey and Fox Networks Group (FNG) Chairman and CEO Tony Vinciquerra today announced a restructuring of the company’s entertainment and sports television operations. Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) and FX Networks, (FX and the Fox Movie Channel) will now be overseen by Peter Rice, Chairman, Entertainment for the Fox Networks Group. All sports operations, including FOX Sports, the company’s 19 regional sports networks, The Fox Soccer Channel, SPEED, Fox Sports en Espanol and FUEL TV will be under the supervision of David Hill, Chairman and CEO, FOX Sports, as will the company’s joint venture sports businesses STATS, LLC. and Big Ten Network. Both Rice and Hill will continue to report to Vinciquerra.
John Landgraf, President and General Manager of FX Networks, will report to Rice, while Randy Freer, president of Fox Sports Networks; David Nathanson, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Fox Soccer Channel; Hunter Nickell, President of SPEED; Dermot McQuarrie and Raul De Quesada, Senior Vice President and Co-Assistant General Managers, Fox Sports en Espanol; and CJ Olivares, Senior Vice President and General Manager, FUEL TV will report to Hill.
Rich Battista, President Fox National Cable Networks, is in discussions about a potential new role within the company.
“News Corporation is the world’s leading content company with the country’s number one broadcast network and powerful cable networks across the board. We have great management teams driving these businesses,” said Mr. Carey. “This reorganization is not targeted at short term change, but at maintaining our momentum while better aligning us in key content areas for long term growth as we take these businesses to new heights over the coming years.”
“David Hill and Peter Rice are two of the most successful executives at our company,” said Mr. Vinciquerra. “Not only do I admire their creative prowess, but they have both done a tremendous job of growing their respective businesses and their continued leadership will place us in an enviable position as we move forward.”
Carey added, “Rich Battista is a valued member of this company and we hope to find a new opportunity for him in the near term.”
David Hill has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, FOX Sports Television Group since 1999, which includes FOX Sports, America’s No. 1 sports network for 13 consecutive years and FOXSports.com. Hill also served as Chairman and CEO, Fox Broadcasting Company from September 1997 to June 1999, overseeing all programming, marketing, advertising sales and business affairs. In December 1993, armed with FOX’s first rights agreement to broadcast the NFL, Hill arrived in the U.S. to create FOX Sports and serve as its first president. FOX Sports grew from a concept to a fully functional sports division in just eight months, utilizing state-of-the-art studio and on-site broadcasting facilities. Hill’s creativity led to such innovations as the FOXTrax computer enhanced hockey puck; the FOXBox constant-score-and-clock graphic; in-base microphones, “Diamond Cam,” “Catcher-Cam,” Gopher Cam, “Crank It Up” audio segments, “The Adventures of Digger & Friends” carton series and merchandise and most recently, a series of mid-day programs on FOXSports.com under the umbrella “Lunch with Benefits.”
Before his arrival in the U.S., Hill held several News Corp. posts in the U.K. In 1988, he helped launch Sky Television and Eurosport. When Sky Television merged with British Sky Broadcasting in 1990, he took charge of BSkyB Sports Channel and created Sky Sports in 1991. Hill relocated to Great Britain from Australia, where he had been Vice President, Sports, with the Nine Network since 1977.
Peter Rice was named chairman of entertainment in March 2009 and was given oversight of Fox Broadcasting Company. The network recently finished the fall, for the first time, as the No. 1 network among Adults 18-49, a position it retains due to its stable schedule and new hits like GLEE and THE CLEVELAND SHOW. AMERICAN IDOL returned strongly last night and the new series HUMAN TARGET will preview this Sunday, along with the new season of the critically-acclaimed 24. Prior to his post as chairman of entertainment, Mr. Rice was president of Fox Searchlight, where he served as the driving force behind the success of the specialty film genre, bringing to the screen some of the industry’s most successful films and award-winning films, including Slumdog Millionaire, The Wrestler, Little Miss Sunshine, Sideways and Juno. Before that, as Executive Vice President of Production for Twentieth Century Fox, he worked on a wide range of films including Moulin Rouge, Romeo & Juliet and X-Men.