Fox executives amplified their recent pitch about the new iteration of the company being a “stand-up” with its own “Day One” opening up new business opportunities during a 90-minute upfront presentation at New York’s Beacon Theatre.
Charlie Collier, the longtime former AMC exec who took the helm of Fox’s entertainment operations last November, posed a question to the audience, “What would you do if you had the chance to start all over again?” Extolling the “challenger brand” era of early Fox, and gesturing to Rupert and Lachlan Mudoch in the audience, he emphasized many of the core themes of recent appearances at the Fox Corp. investor day, TCA winter press tour and the NAB Show.
“Network television remains the biggest and best storefront window to sell your product,” he said. Departing from recent data-heavy Fox presentations, he said, “I would so much rather spend our brief time laying out our vision for success. … It’s a new day to build.”
Ad-sales chief Marianne Gambelli joined Collier with Fox Sports chief Eric Shanks, personifying the company’s new constitution since the March close of the Disney deal, which saw two-thirds of the company shuffle off to Burbank.
“We’ve always done things differently,” Gambelli said. “While our competition is getting more complicated” — possibly a reference to streaming services, the likes of which Fox does not plan to launch — “we’re laser focused” on a “straightforward approach.” The three buckets for that approach, she elaborated, are “entertainment, sports and news.” As in past years, there was nary a whisper about Fox News (which had its own upfront a few weeks ago), but the contrast with other upfronts this week seemed more striking given the smaller scale of the company.