- Associated Press - Thursday, January 6, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The longtime chief executive of the Fox Networks Group is stepping down, triggering a reorganization for the TV unit of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

News Corp. President and COO Chase Carey announced Thursday that Tony Vinciquerra will leave Feb. 11 after serving as chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group since 2002.

Carey lauded Vinciquerra for his work in building the company’s cable portfolio. In the past year, Vinciquerra led successful contract negotiations with cable operators to gain significant fee increases for carrying Fox networks.

David Haslingden, head of the Fox International Channels, will become president and chief operating officer of Fox Networks Group and handle most of Vinciquerra’s responsibilities, Carey said.

David Hill, chairman and CEO of Fox Sports Media Group, will take on oversight of Fox’s domestic joint venture with National Geographic Channels. Randy Freer and Eric Shanks will jointly direct the sports cable channels portfolio, reporting to David Hill.

Haslingden and Hill will report to Carey.

Peter Rice’s role as chairman in charge of entertainment for Fox Networks Group, including the Fox broadcast channel, remains unchanged, Carey said.

In a memo to colleagues Thursday released by News Corp., Vinciquerra said he’d thought about leaving for some time and intends to pursue other unspecified opportunities, adding they would probably be “entrepreneurial” in nature. Vinciquerra, 55, reportedly had two years left on his contract.

Vinciquerra noted corporate milestones that occurred during his tenure, including the “emergence of FX as a creative power in cable programming” and the growth of Fox’s regional sports networks. FX’s series have included the Emmy-winning “The Shield.”




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