SBD/January 7, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Fox Networks Group Chair & CEO Tony Vinciquerra Stepping Down

Vinciquerra stepping down at Fox Networks Group
Fox Networks Group Chair & CEO TONY VINCIQUERRA Thursday announced his decision to step down from the position, effective Feb. 11. As a result, News Corp. announced a restructuring of the Fox Networks Group. Fox Int'l Channels CEO DAVID HASLINGDEN will take over most of Vinciquerra's responsibilities as President & COO of Fox Networks Group. Fox Sports President ERIC SHANKS and FSN President RANDY FREER will serve as co-President & COO of Fox Sports Media Group, taking direct responsibility for sports cable channels including Fox Soccer Channel, Speed, Fox Deportes and Fuel TV. Shanks and Freer also will gain oversight of all digital ventures for the sports group. The pair will report to Fox Sports Media Group Chair & CEO DAVID HILL, who now will report to News Corp. President & COO CHASE CAREY as part of the restructuring. Hill will expand his role to manage Fox' oversight of the National Geographic Channels domestic joint venture and will take a seat on the National Geographic Channels board (News Corp.). Vinciquerra said that it was "six to eight months ago when he began leaning toward stepping down," and that he told Carey of his decision "around Thanksgiving" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/7). Vinciquerra: "I've been doing this job for 10 years, and it's time to think about other things. We have some good people who have really grown in their jobs; they have become more focused and are ready to step up to the challenge." Vinciquerra, who also serves on the Motorola Inc. BOD, said that he "didn't have another job lined up but was interested in communications technology" (L.A. TIMES, 1/7).

INSTRUMENTAL FIGURE: In N.Y., Bill Carter wrote Vinciquerra over the past decade has been "instrumental in most of the biggest financial deals involving News Corp's television operations, including a host of lucrative retransmission deals with cable operators and contracts for rights to sports events for the Fox network as well as Fox's regional sports cable channels." His departure is "being described by both sides as completely voluntary," with Vinciquerra indicating that he "decided to leave because he wants to pursue some undetermined entrepreneurial ventures." His name "circulated last year in a potential management role at NBC Universal after Comcast completes its acquisition of that company" (NYTIMES.com, 1/6).

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