New Fox — or, as it now calls itself, just “Fox” — has unveiled promotions for five top executives along with other organizational moves before the Disney-21st Century Fox deal closes in the coming months.
The main promotions are: Eric Shanks, to CEO of Fox Sports from his current role of President, Chief Operating Officer & Executive Producer, Fox Sports; Mike Biard, to President, Operations and Distribution for Fox from President, Distribution for Fox Networks Group; Paul Cheesbrough, promoted to Chief Technology Officer and Head of Direct to Consumer Platforms for Fox; and Steve Tomsic to Fox’s Chief Financial Officer. Tomsic is currently 21CF’s EVP, Finance and Deputy CFO.
As Deadline reported yesterday, Marianne Gambelli will be elevated to President of Ad Sales for Fox. She is currently President of Ad Sales for Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.
Fox TV Group chairman and CEO Gary Newman is in negotiations to stay at the company.
All the moves are contingent upon the close of the $71.3 billion deal, which will see Disney take ownership of all Fox assets except for the broadcast network, local TV stations, Fox News and FS1. While some insiders have indicated a deal close is possible by the end of 2018, the official forecast is for early 2019.
“We are fortunate to be able to continue working with these enormously talented executives who have helped make our businesses the incredible successes they are today,” said Lachlan Murdoch, who will be chairman and CEO of the new Fox. “Collectively they bring to Fox the vision, entrepreneurial spirit and proven track records to position Fox to seize future opportunities for its leading and deeply resonant brands across sports, news and entertainment.”
The executive announcement also noted some previously announced pieces of the puzzle, including John Nallen’s appointment to COO of Fox and Viet Dinh’s appointment as Chief Legal and Policy Officer. Fox News and Fox Business Network CEO Suzanne Scott will continue in her role, and likewise with Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy.
Here is the memo that Murdoch sent to employees this morning:
DEAR COLLEAGUES,I have an exciting update on “FOX.”Today, we are announcing key leadership appointments across the new Company’s sports, distribution, ad sales operations and corporate functions, effective upon the close of our Disney transaction, anticipated in the first half of next year.In many ways it is the best of both worlds: a proven bench of accomplished executives who have helped make 21CF the successful company it is today, combined with the fresh start made possible by the spin-off, creating a more nimble company centered on domestic sports, news and entertainment. Without a doubt, these attributes are powerful for a company that already begins Day One as the leader in news and live sporting events.Following are the leadership appointments we are announcing today:Eric Shanks, elevated to Chief Executive Officer of FOX Sports from his current role of President, Chief Operating Officer & Executive Producer, FOX Sports;Mike Biard, elevated to President, Operations and Distribution for FOX from President, Distribution for Fox Networks Group;Paul Cheesbrough, promoted to Chief Technology Officer and Head of Direct to Consumer Platforms for FOX, currently serves as 21CF’s CTO;Marianne Gambelli, elevated to President of Ad Sales for FOX; she currently serves as President of Ad Sales for FOX News Channel and FOX Business Network;Steve Tomsic, promoted to FOX’s Chief Financial Officer; currently serves as 21CF’s EVP, Finance and Deputy CFO.As previously announced, 21CF’s CFO John Nallen will assume a broader role as Chief Operating Officer for the new company; Suzanne Scott will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer of FOX News and FOX Business Network; and Jack Abernethy will remain Chief Executive Officer of Fox Television Stations. In addition, Viet Dinh was recently named FOX’s Chief Legal and Policy Officer.Under our new structure, John, Suzanne, Viet, Eric, Paul and Marianne will report to me; Mike and Steve will report to John.We are fortunate to be able to continue working with these talented executives. Collectively they bring to FOX the vision, entrepreneurial spirit and proven track records to position FOX to seize future opportunities for its leading and deeply resonant brands across sports, news and entertainment.Please join me in congratulating each of them on their well-deserved promotions.Lachlan