4:03pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
AMC's Charlie Collier to Run Fox Network; Gary Newman to Exit
The executive ranks at "New Fox" are coming into focus.
Current Fox Broadcasting Co. chairman and CEO Gary Newman is exiting the company and will be replaced by AMC president Charlie Collier. Newman, who had been in talks to stay with the soon-to-be independent broadcast network, will remain on board through the transition. Collier will serve as CEO of Entertainment and oversee the Fox Broadcasting Network and lead its entertainment programming strategy across live, scripted and nonscripted content. He will start his new role at Fox on Nov. 1.
The news, announced Friday night, is the first in what is expected to be a string of new senior leadership roles across the broadcast network. Sources say Collier will remain based in New York and take on a bicoastal role with Fox. (A replacement for Collier at AMC has not yet been determined.)
“Charlie is a singular talent, combining creative success with operational expertise to lead the AMC Network with some of television’s most memorable programming," Fox's Lachlan Murdoch said in a statement. “Charlie’s skills and experience will help Fox continue to transform the broadcast television business.”
The news arrives as Fox is poised to become an indie broadcast network after its studio counterpart, 20th Century Fox TV, moves under the Disney umbrella once the $71 billion transaction closes. Gary Newman and his longtime exec partner Dana Walden added oversight of the Fox broadcast network in 2014 after running the studio since 1999. Disney announced Oct. 8 that Walden would join the expanded company in a top role, dissolving one of television's longest executive partnerships. Walden and Newman both oversaw Fox Broadcasting Co. and 20th TV. Newman and Walden will remain as chairman and CEOs of Fox TV Group until the Disney deal closes.
"I am incredibly gratified by the accomplishments, relationships and legacy we created during my time with the Fox family. Charlie is a longtime friend and colleague and he will be inheriting a team of passionate and incredibly talented executives. This accelerated transition allows me to pursue new opportunities on my own timeline with the comfort I am leaving the network in capable hands," Newman said in a statement.
Collier, who has served as president and GM of AMC, Sundance TV and AMC Studios, has been with the cable network for nine years, transforming it into a home for both critical successes (Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul) and broad hits (The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead).
Collier arrives at Fox as the network is shifting to sports (the NFL and wrestling) and broad-focused scripted programming including procedurals and multicamera comedies like Tim Allen's Last Man Standing following the Murdochs' decision to pivot its programming strategy after unloading assets including its TV and film studios, FX and National Geographic. He joins the broadcast network a year after Fox entertainment chief David Madden departed to take on a role as president of programming at AMC, Sundance TV and AMC Studios after a two-decade run in programming and studio development with the network. The addition of Collier also helps to signal New Fox's intent to remain in the scripted space, albeit with a reduction in total hours given its commitment to sports programming.
Collier's move to Fox leaves AMC with big shoes to fill, though it has a strong bench of leadership including Josh Sapan and Ed Carroll, who have led the company for three decades. Among the internal candidates that could be eyed to take over for Collier is Sarah Barnett, who has been with the company for a decade and has delivered hits for BBC America including Orphan Black and Killing Eve.