Liguori Is Out in News Corp. Shake-up

Peter Liguori will step down as chairman of entertainment at Fox Broadcasting, effective immediately, as part of a management restructuring at News Corp.’s L.A.-based Fox operations unveiled Thursday by chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch.

The L.A.-based creative production divisions of the company will be combined under a single unit reporting to Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman, co-chairmen of Fox Filmed Entertainment.

Twentieth Century Fox Television chairmen Gary Newman and Dana Walden will report to Gianopulos and Rothman.

On the TV network side, Tony Vinciquerra, chairman of the Fox Networks Group, will continue to head the cable networks and the business aspects of Fox Broadcasting, Fox International Channels. He will now add responsibility for Fox Broadcasting programming.

Peter Rice, president of Fox Searchlight, will leave his post at the specialty label to become chairman of entertainment at Fox Broadcasting, reporting to Vinciquerra. Murdoch cited the success of Slumdog Millionaire and Juno as a key reason. “I’m convinced Peter Rice is the right person to transform our broadcast television business,” he said.

The reorganizations come as Peter Chernin is set to leave his role of president and COO of News Corp. at the end of June.

“Today’s restructuring, by removing barriers between businesses, will enable us to better share ideas and resources, allowing us to make the most of this team and the talent that populates our ranks,” Murdoch said.

At Fox Searchlight, Nancy Utley and Steve Gilula will jointly run the business, reporting to Gianopulos and Rothman. Claudia Lewis, president of production, remains in place.

Under the reporting structure, Emiliano Calemzuk, president of Fox Television Studios, will report to Newman and Walden.

“Peter Liguori has been an outstanding Fox executive, not only in leading FBC for three seasons, but in his groundbreaking programming that helped build FX into a general entertainment leader,” Murdoch said in wishing him success.

Gianopulos, Rothman and Vinciquerra will report directly to Murdoch, as will Peter Levinsohn, who remains president of Fox Interactive Media. Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network as well as chairman of the Fox Television Stations and Twentieth Television, will continue to report to Murdoch.