After months of rumors and billions of dollars spent, Disney has finally revealed which of the top executives from 21st Century Fox will be coming along for the transition into Disney after the “mouse” acquired the media giant in a $71.3 billion acquisition, according to reports from Deadline.
The big names that will be making the transition include 21st Century Fox president and Chairman & CEO of Fox Networks Group Peter Rice, Fox TV Group chairman and CEO Dana Walden, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf, and Gary E. Knell, CEO of National Geographic Partners. Also joining Disney will be Jonnie Davis, Howard Kurtzman, and Bert Salke, who served as the top executives over at 20th Century Fox TV. All mentioned will continue on within their current roles at Fox until the acquisition is complete — which is expected to be sometime in early 2019.
One of the most notable names not making the cut is Gary Newman, who currently serves as the Fox TV Group chairman and CEO. Newman is currently in negotiations to remain with what is left of Fox and to oversee the independent broadcast network that Disney will not be acquiring.
Rice will be entering the new roles of Chairman for Walt Disney Television and Co-Chair for Disney Media Networks, which will see him lead what Deadline calls the “TV linear entertainment content business ” of the new company. He will be joining Kevin Mayer, Chairman for Direct-to-Consumer and International — and Bob Chapek, Chairman of Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products, both of whom are already with Disney.
Disney this morning officially announced the top TV executives from 21st Century Fox who will transition to Disney following its $71.3B acquisition of key Fox assets https://t.co/7HIvDhMuCW— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) October 8, 2018
With Walt Disney Co. chairman and CEO Bob Iger remaining the top dog at the company, Rice will be overseeing a wide portfolio of channels that include ABC network, ABC Studios, the ABC Owned TV Stations Group, Disney Channels, Freeform, 20th Century Fox Television, FX Networks, FX Productions, Fox 21 Television Studios, and the National Geographic channels. Rice will be serving as the replacement for Ben Sherwood, who will be leaving his role of co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and President of Disney & ABC Television once the acquisition becomes official. For his part, Rice seemed very positive about his new role working beneath Bob Iger, detailing as much in comments made on the matter.
“I love making television and have been fortunate to work with incredibly talented executives and storytellers… Disney is the world’s preeminent creative company, and I look forward to working for Bob, and with his exceptional leadership team, to build on that amazing legacy. I also want to thank Rupert, Lachlan and James Murdoch for the privilege of working on such a wide array of movies and television, both entertainment and sports. It has been a wonderful thirty years.”
With 20th Century Fox TV and ABC Studios being two of the world’s largest television production companies, it is difficult during these early stages of the acquisition to see how their combination will mesh, precisely. In these early days, it is expected for each executive team to remain as is and to operate fairly discretely apart from each other — even as they both operate under the Disney umbrella. Rice’s title indicates that he will be working in the the broadest capacity under the umbrella that is this new corporation.