Huge Shakeup at Fox. Longtime Fox Filmed Entertainment Co-Chairman Tom Rothman Exiting at Year's End. Implications for TV Division TVWeek; Deadline.com
"Tom Rothman will step down as Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment at the end of the year," News Corp has announced. The announcement continued, "Leadership of the film unit has been consolidated under Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos, who has served with Rothman since 2000."
The announcement also says, "In conjunction with Rothman’s departure, News Corporation announced a reorganization of its studio operations that separates the film and television production units...Twentieth Century Fox Television, which also includes Fox Television Studios and Fox 21, is now an autonomous business unit within News Corporation, and will no longer be combined with the Company’s film operations. Accordingly, current Co-Chairs Dana Walden and Gary Newman will now report directly to Chase Carey, News Corporation’s President and Chief Operating Officer."
The announcement adds, “ 'I have been at Fox for over 18 years, the bulk of my adult working life,” Rothman said. “In that time we have accomplished more than I ever imagined, from the founding and nurturing of Fox Searchlight, to overseeing the two biggest films in box office history, to keeping us consistently at the highest levels of industry profits, including this most recent strong fiscal year, and, most of all, making dozens of films that I believe will stand the test of time. I’m deeply proud of that run. But even more, I am eternally grateful to have had the honor and opportunity to work with the marvelous people here at Fox. I will miss them hugely. Still, I have done the same job, at the same place, for a very long time, and it is time for me to write a new chapter. I love 20th Century Fox and take great comfort knowing that we have an amazing slate of pictures in place for the next several years. I know that Jim and all my terrific colleagues at Fox, will continue our long tradition of winning ways, and I will help in the transition in any ways I can.”
The Deadline article about Rothman's pending exit, which was co-written by Nikki Finke and Mike Fleming at Deadline.com.says,"Reagrding [sic] Rothman, 'it was an amicable parting of ways. Tom wants to do something different. He had an amazing run and is a huge part of our success over the past two decades,' a Fox insider tells us. 'Jim is a great leader. We’re in amazing hands.' ”
Finke and Fleming then add in their article, "Today’s shocker follows yet another lackluster summer performance for Twentieth Century Fox live action films, capping several years of missteps and misfires, and Hollywood rumors were running rampant that Rothman would be fired. Especially embarrassing for Rothman was this summer’s huge worldwide success of 'Ted,' a Media Rights Capital movie project from Twentieth TV star Seth MacFarlane that Rothman turned down and which went on to make a fortune for Universal Pictures...What Rothman will do next is unknown, but sources made it clear to us today that Rothman is not going to Comcast/Universal which was most frequently mentioned."