Fox Names Hookstratten to Affils Post

Jun 6, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Fox Broadcasting has named Jon Hookstratten executive VP of network distribution. He starts June 13.

Mr. Hookstratten left a high-level post at NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution for the Fox job, which gives him day-to-day oversight of the network’s relationships with 25 Fox owned-and-operated stations and 184 affiliates.

He succeeds Robert Quicksilver, who ended his run as head of affiliate relations last month.

Mr. Hookstratten’s charge is to continue to improve what once was among the most wary of network-affiliate relationships. He will report to Fox Television Network President Ed Wilson, with whom he worked at NBC and CBS.

The move reunites Mr. Hookstratten with Fox Networks Group President and CEO Tony Vinciquerra, a former Hearst-Argyle and CBS executive.

“We’re willing to think out of the box. We’re wanting to think like true partners,” Mr. Wilson said of the network’s approach to affiliate relations.

Among the recent examples of Fox’s willingness to forge innovative partnerships: The network offered affiliates access to its corporate discounts with such services as airlines, express delivery companies and other suppliers that small-market operators may not have the leverage to obtain on their own.

Fox also is working with stations through a sales advisory committee to make presentations to advertisers on the advantage of buying time on the network and its affiliates.

One issue that will be much discussed by the network and the affiliates in coming months is how they all can work together to grow their respective businesses, from the Internet to making Fox-affiliated stations more competitive in political-spending seasons. They’ll also look at strengthening local news offerings.

Mr. Hookstratten had been executive VP for administration and operations for NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution since August 2004. Prior to that, he served as executive VP of NBC Enterprises for more than three years. He was senior VP of business affairs for CBS Enterprises from 1996 to 2000.

His resume also includes 12 years as assistant to the chairman at Ron Perelman-owned McAndrews and Forbes Group and a stint as partner in Hookstratten & Hookstratten, the Beverly Hills law firm that represents major news, sports and entertainment talent. He also handled business affairs for Carson Productions, with responsibility for the company’s network series, including NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” video production and distribution.

“When we made the decision of the type of person we wanted to take our affiliate-network relationship to a new level, Jon was the perfect person, because we think he’s a good listener; we think he’s a good partner and has exhibited that in the past,” Mr. Wilson said. “We think he’s someone who’s tough but fair.”

“During my time at CBS and NBC I always worked closely with stations,” Mr. Hookstratten said. “The Fox side of it will be new, but the overall station-relationship side I’m very comfortable with. I want to encourage communication between us at Fox Broadcasting and all of our affiliated stations, so we can move affiliates forward and move Fox Broadcasting forward.”