Hulu Close to Naming Fox Executive Mike Hopkins CEO (Report)

7:37 PM PST 10/10/2013 by Paul Bond
FOX
Mike Hopkins

The president of the Fox Networks Group would take over for acting CEO Andy Forssell.

Mike Hopkins, the president of the Fox Networks Group whose responsibilities include distribution along with digital assets, is close to being named CEO of Hulu, sources told Bloomberg Thursday.

Hopkins would take over from Andy Forssell, who has been acting CEO since March, when Jason Kilar exited the company with a package that reportedly included a $40 million payout. A source tells The Hollywood Reporter the appointment of Hopkins could be announced as soon as Friday.

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If he scores the job, Hopkins will have beat out other competitors that included former NBCUniversal executive vp Lauren Zalaznick and Intel executive Erik Huggers, who is working on the microchip maker's in-the-works TV service.

The New York Post reported that ABC digital executive Albert Cheng also was in the mix.

Hulu is owned by Disney, Fox and NBCUniversal, though the latter has no managerial say in the entity per an agreement with federal regulators who granted Comcast permission to purchase NBCU four years ago.

The company, while popular with consumers, has been in a state of flux for several years, including scrapped plans for going public and unsuccessful negotiations to sell the company.

Hulu, once derided as ClownCo by skeptics who doubted TV viewers could be lured in big numbers to the Internet, posted $695 million in revenue in 2012, up 65 percent from the year earlier. The company's revenue comes from advertising and from its Hulu Plus service, whereby subscribers watch TV shows on-demand without commercials.

Kilar announced in January his intention to leave the company along with chief technology officer Rich Tom. Prior to that, he had scuffled with his bosses at ABC and Fox, some of whom wanted Hulu to rein in costs and angle for quicker profits. Kilar had argued for more spending money in order to license more content, the price of which has escalated amid aggressive bidding by Netflix and others.

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