21st Century Fox is blending its broadcasting company and studio group. The media company announced on Monday, July 14 that Fox Broadcasting Company and 20th Century Fox Television would be combined into the new business unit named Fox Television Group under the leadership of Dana Walden and Gary Newman.
"As we look to the future of the broadcast television business, it is clear that the best path forward is to operate our creative and broadcast divisions under the leadership of a single team, and that Gary and Dana are the perfect executives to take on this new role," said Chase Carey, president and COO of parent company 21st Century Fox. "... The closer alignment of these two properties, coupled with a unified vision from Dana and Gary, gives us a clear advantage in creating even more hit content that will benefit both businesses."
As joint chairmen and CEOs of the newly formed division, Walden and Newman will report to FNG chairman Peter Rice effective later this month. The two groups will continue to operate independently, but will have shared financial and creative goals.
Both Walden and Newman have worked at Fox for more than two decades and together they have run the Fox Television studios for the last 15 years. "Television has never been more creatively vibrant and the business has never been more dynamic. Our goal is to make FBC the number one destination for creators with big visions and bold ideas, because our guiding principle has always been 'talent first,' " they said in a statement. "We are humbled by the challenges and exhilarated by the opportunities ahead. It's an exciting time."
TV producers have shown support to them. "I've worked with them both for a while, and they really know what they're doing," said "The Simpsons" executive producer Al Jean. "Sons of Anarchy" creator Kurt Sutter added, "Dana and Gary have run 20th with a rare mix of business acumen and a deep appreciation of artists. I have no doubt that approach will bring the same level of success to the network."
"Modern Family" co-creator Steve Levitan chimed in, "Dana and Gary are as smart and nice as they come in this business, so I'm thrilled for them both. FBC is lucky to have them leading the charge to find a big hit show for Wednesdays at 9 P.M.," jokingly saying, "Wait... uh-oh. I'm just hoping they'll soon take over Fox News."
"Bones" creator Hart Hanson echoed the sentiment. "I've been working for Gary and Dana for 15 years," he said. "At any one time, either one of them can be my favorite while I'm fighting with the other but most of the time I love both of them to bits. I've found them to be intelligent, fair, insightful, decent, warm, and committed. Also, they smell great. They don't smell the same but they both smell great."
Sharing their plan, Walden said they're focused on "wooing" top producers, who have been turned off by broadcast in recent years, back to the medium by providing a "fantastic" development experience. They're also eager to get more into the reality world.