Hulu Names Fox Networks Exec Mike Hopkins CEO

The new Hulu CEO is best known for his years crafting carriage deals for Fox cable channels including FX and, more recently, Fox Sports 1. That suggests a change in strategy — a shift in focus from producing content to expanding distribution — for the streaming service controlled by Fox, Disney and Comcast. Mike Hopkins replaces Andy Forssell, the former SVP Content who championed original programming including The Awesomes after he replaced Jason Kilar on an interim basis beginning in March — and now is leaving Hulu. Hopkins “has a strong understanding of programming, digital distribution and consumer behavior, and a great vision for Hulu’s next chapter,” says Disney/ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney. Hulu’s fate was in doubt early this year. The owners entertained bids for it before deciding in July to keep it, and supply $750M to accelerate its growth. Many believe that backers will invest even more to turn it into a full-fledged competitor to Netflix, especially as recent shows from broadcast and pay TV services begin to appear on cable and satellite TV Everywhere streaming platforms. Liberty Media’s John Malone raised that possibility last week. And last month Disney CEO Bob Iger said that Netflix hadn’t yet cornered the streaming video market, presumably leaving room for Hulu. Here’s today’s release from Hulu: (more…)

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