“We are reorganizing our casting department and made the difficult decision to eliminate the Executive Vice President position,” a Fox Entertainment spokesperson said in a statement to Deadline. “We thank Tess for her many contributions and wish her the best in her future endeavors.”
Following Sanchez’s departure, Fox’s four-person casting department will be led by VP Brittainy Roberts.
Sanchez was informed of the company’s decision to eliminate her position late last week when she left the network, I hear. It is believed to be a cost-cutting measure as all traditional media companies have been going through belt-tightening while they mitigate the impact from the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in grueling industrywide layoffs with many veteran employees impacted.
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Sanchez was the longest-tenured senior programming executive at Fox. She was also the only woman of color among the network’s top creative executives. (In non-creative areas, the network has a handful of women of color who head departments, two of them on EVP level.)
The downsizing of Fox Entertainment’s casting department comes as the now-independent network is expanding its production capabilities with an in-house unscripted studio and animated house (Bento Box). Fox’s casting department is fully servicing pilots and series that are produced internally without an outside studio partner.
Sanchez joined Fox in 2009. She was named head of casting two years later and upped to EVP in 2016. Known for her close relationships with talent, Sanchez has overseen castings for such series as 9-1-1, The Masked Singer, Prodigal Son, Empire, Bless the Harts, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Duncanville, Gotham, Last Man On Earth and The Mindy Project as well as the Grease Live! special. Prior to joining Fox, Sanchez was an independent casting director. She also worked at the WB as VP of Talent and Casting for eight years and helped discover the talent for such shows as Felicity, Dawson’s Creek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallville and Supernatural.
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