LOS ANGELES, July 14 Twenty-First Century Fox
Inc on Monday announced a reorganization of its
television business as the network sought to push itself out of
last place among the big U.S. broadcasters.
The company said Fox Broadcasting Company and 20th Century
Fox Television will be housed under a new unit, Fox Television
Group, bringing together its TV broadcasting and production
The move comes almost two months after Fox's top broadcast
executive, Kevin Reilly, left from the network after it lost its
top spot among viewers in the 18-49 age group that advertisers
Marquee Fox programs like singing contest "American Idol"
and musical series "Glee" have also suffered sharp ratings
declines in recent years.
Fox said Dana Walden and Gary Newman, both veterans at the
network, will serve as co-chairmen and chief executive officers
of the new Fox Television Group.
Combining the network and studio in the same unit will lead
to a more streamlined development process, Walden said during a
media conference call. The structure is similar to the way
competing broadcasters operate.
"We want to make the development process smoother and more
seamless" she said. "When a writer walks in the door with an
idea, we will now be able to offer a singular point of view,
which should offer tremendous reassurances to the talent."
The Fox studio will continue to produce shows for other
networks, and the Fox broadcast network will air some series
from other studios, the executives said.
Fox currently produces Showtime drama "Homeland" and
ABC comedy "Modern Family," a perennial Emmy winner.
The shakeup of Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox's
TV units also comes a year after the film and TV company was
spun off from Murdoch's News Corp, which now operates
publishing assets, including the Wall Street Journal.
Fox averaged 7.3 million daily prime-time viewers during the
2013-14 season, according to Nielsen data. That was up from 7
million last year, but the network fell one place to fourth
behind CBS, NBC and ABC, respectively.
Its entertainment lineup consists of acclaimed comedies such
as "The Mindy Project" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," but those shows
have yet to generate top-line ratings for the network.
(Reporting by Eric Kelsey and Lisa Richwine; Editing by Mary
Milliken and Jonathan Oatis)