Fox Taps Studio Head David Madden as Entertainment Chief

Joe Early David Madden Split - H 2014
Courtesy of Fox Broadcasting Company

 Joe Early David Madden Split - H 2014

Fox Television Group chairmen Gary Newman and Dana Walden have found their entertainment chief.

Mere weeks into the job, the pair has tapped Fox TV Studios chief David Madden to serve as the president of entertainment for the broadcast network. As part of the shake-up, Joe Earley will segue out of the creative role he had embraced in recent months. Instead, he has been upped to chief operating officer for Fox Television Group, where he'll be focused on such things as strategic initiatives across the company's divisions. Both executives will report to Newman and Walden and will assume their new duties immediately, with Madden's replacement at the cable-minded studio to be named soon.

In his new role, Madden will assume responsibility for scripted programming and development, alternative entertainment and casting at the network. Madden had been elevated to president of FTVS in 2010, after a decade at the company, where his roster included such shows as The Killing, The Americans and White Collar. The well-liked exec, who graduated magna cum laude from Harvard before spending the first 20 years of his career as a producer and studio executive in the film world, is known for running the more independent of the two 20th TV-owned cable studios. (Bert Salke heads Fox 21, which is responsible for such shows as Homeland, Salem and Tyrant.)

"David is an incredible creative executive with an impeccable eye for talent who is respected tremendously by the creative community, his network and agency partners, and his colleagues alike. Over his nearly 15-year tenure at Fox Television Studios, David helped transform FTVS into one of the premier brands in cable programming, and we are elated to bring his stellar expertise and reputation to the Fox network," said Walden and Newman in a joint statement.

For his part, Earley will be joining Walden and Newman in the executive suite of the newly formed television group, and will be charged with maximizing opportunities for the portfolio of shows produced by 20th Century Fox Television for Fox. He's expected to partner with the studio's development, production, business affairs, marketing and finance leads on strategic initiatives, and will oversee the development of international co-productions, as well as publicity and talent relations at the studio. He will also continue to have direct oversight of marketing and communications, digital, multiplatform programming, research, talent relations, scheduling and audience strategy at the network.

"We are unbelievably excited for Joe to join us in the Fox Television Group as we work to more closely align our network and studio businesses," the chairmen added of Earley, a multidecade veteran of the company who has many fans within. "He is an exceptionally valuable leader within our company, with a unique ability to see the big picture, and we're really looking forward to having him spearhead initiatives that take full advantage of the incredible opportunities across our series."

The news comes as many around Hollywood are still trying to get a handle on what Fox will look like under Walden and Newman, who added the broadcast network to their portfolio after former chairman Kevin Reilly stepped down post-upfronts. Upon taking the job in mid-July, Walden and Newman suggested that they had no intention of making any rash decisions on the personnel front, noting specifically that there weren't any plans to bring in an entertainment president at that time. Instead, they noted that they would spend the coming months getting to know the creative executives already in place at the network better while relying on execs including Jonnie Davis and Howard Kurtzman to step up on the studio side.