Fox Broadcasting Network Chairman and CEO Lachlan Murdoch Friday tapped the president of the AMC cable network as Fox’s CEO of entertainment, replacing Gary Newman, who will exit the company.
Insiders say Charlie Collier’s hiring, effective Nov. 1, is a major move in preparation for FBN going independent following the pending $71 billion merger of its movie counterpart, 21st Century Fox, with the Walt Disney Co.
Collier — whose tenure at AMC featured numerous revenue and ratings successes, including such hits as “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead” — is an experienced cable network executive, with stops at Oxygen, A&E Networks and TeleRep before AMC.
At Fox, he will be tasked with leading the broadcasting network’s future programming strategy at a time when it has shown consistently strong performances in sports, news and entertainment programming.
“I can’t imagine a more exciting next step than this new role at Fox,” Collier said in a statement. “(Fox) combines the power and reach of a broadcast division, some of the best live assets on the planet from which to build entertainment audiences and fan engagement, and a proven leadership team with a ‘make new rules’ start-up mentality.
Newman and his longtime executive ally Dana Walden will remain at the top of the Fox TV Group until the drawn-out Disney deal closes. At that point, Walden will move into a high-profile role there, breaking up — for now at least — his long executive partnership with Newman.
Newman and Walden were summoned in 2014 to oversee FBN after leading the studio since 1999.
Murdoch said he has high hopes for Collier.
“Charlie is a singular talent, combining creative success with operational expertise to lead the AMC Network with some of television’s most memorable programming,” Murdoch said. “Charlie’s skills and experience will help FOX continue to transform the broadcast television business.”
Candidates to replace Collier at AMC have not been made public.
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