Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier today for the first time spoke publicly of his plans for the broadcast network without having to hedge his statements on the Disney-Fox deal going through. A week after Disney’s $71.5 billion acquisition of Fox assets was finally completed, Collier held his first Town Hall meeting as head of the network, which has been renamed from Fox Broadcasting Co. to Fox Entertainment.
In what was described by attendees as a moving and inspirational speech, Collier addressed the network’s name change as a way to “define what it means to build a thriving entertainment company in 2019 and beyond.” Also helping to put “entertainment” in Fox Entertainment was an appearance by Ken Jeong, star of Fox’s breakout reality hit The Masked Singer, who asked Collier questions, including how the network plans to operate without a sister studio after 20th Century Fox TV left for Disney.
Collier indicated that Fox is planning to bulk up its capabilities and could build a studio or take a different approach, pointing to the steps already taken on the unscripted side where Fox has been bringing producing elements in-house. (Collier had previously indicated that the company also would be looking at acquisitions and other expansion opportunities.)
In his speech, Collier stressed that Fox will be going with “new ideas, new content, new partners, and new framework” with the goal to be a place where “talent feels protected, nurtured and able to do their best work.”
Like the town hall meeting held by Fox chairman and CEO Lachlan Murdoch last week, Collier’s presentation on the Fox lot, where the slimmed-down company will continue to be based, started off with a highlight reel of the Fox Network’s history from its launch to its top current series, such as 9-1-1 and Empire.
“We are keeping the home, the name and the legacy, and we are building from there,” Collier said.
He vowed that Fox Entertainment “will be a growth engine for the (parent) company,” which relaunched last week as an independent public entity with the Fox broadcast network, Fox News Channel and the Fox stations as its major assets.
“We will do fewer things better; we are smaller but stronger,” Collier said.
Like Murdoch last week, Collier put strong emphasis on company culture. Murdoch’s speech was about empowering Fox employees to be involved from Day 1, and he revealed that he was discussing with the board giving all employees shares in Fox ranging from $1,000-$3,000 depending on how long they had been with the company.
Collier echoed his sentiment about getting all employees be a part of “startup” Fox since Day 1 and urged them not be afraid to speak up and share their ideas.
“I want people to feel really proud when they say that they work at Fox Entertainment,” Collier said.
Jeong shared his reaction after the town hall. “It was an honor to be a small part of such a big and exciting day for Fox Entertainment,” he said. “The energy in the room was infectious with Charlie at the helm, who really emphasized the creative opportunities that lie ahead for the new company. I was in such great spirits walking out the door I applied to be my own assistant on The Masked Singer!”