9:30am PT by Bryn Sandberg
FX Restructures Originals Team, Ups Eric Schrier to Entertainment President
In the wake of Disney's acquisition of Fox, FX is reshuffling its executive ranks.
Eric Schrier, most recently president of original programming for FX Networks and FX Productions, will take on the newly created position of president of FX Entertainment. In the role, he will report directly to chairman John Landgraf and oversee all original entertainment under the FX Brand, including FX Productions, business affairs, production, finance and creative. It marks a major promotion for the FX vet of nearly two decades, who has risen swiftly on the strength of his business savvy and willingness to adopt new models — be it in home entertainment, merchandising or international licensing — in the rapidly changing television landscape.
With the move, Nick Grad, who previously held the same title as Schrier, will now report to him as FX Entertainment's president of original programming. In the job, for which he signed a new deal, Grad will continue to head up scripted content, as well as add oversight of the documentary programming group headed by executive vp current series and FXP Jonathan Frank. The company is expected to move more aggressively into the unscripted space, an area where Grad already has a comfort level, having been heavily involved in FX's upcoming New York Times docuseries The Weekly.
In addition, Gina Balian, executive vp series development, has also been named president of original programming for FX Entertainment alongside Grad. The move represents a promotion for the former HBO drama exec, who first joined FX in 2012. Together with Grad, Balian will be responsible for scripted projects — including development, current series and casting — in her new position. She, too, will report to Schrier, as will Kelly Cline, executive vp business and legal affairs. Prior to the latest shuffling, Balian reported to Schrier and Grad, and long has been considered a star internally.
In their own way, Schrier, Grad and Balian have each played key roles in the development and continued success of FX's highest-profile series, from The Americans to Atlanta to American Crime Story. The restructuring is designed to help better facilitate the higher output expected of the now Disney-owned studio and network group, as it's likely to free up Landgraf to continue building out the FX empire, which soon will play an increasingly valuable role within Hulu as well. Despite a constant churn of Landgraf-related rumors regarding expanded purviews or additional offers, insiders stress that the longtime chief has no plans to take his eye off FX.
"So much of FX’s success is due to the formidable team of Eric Schrier, Gina Balian and Nick Grad, who have cultivated our ethos of putting artists first in the pursuit of creative excellence," Landgraf said Friday in a statement. "They are each exceptional creative executives and this restructuring recognizes their tremendous contributions while fortifying our network and studio for the new opportunities ahead. We are working diligently to make sure we maintain a highly personalized working environment with an acute, collaborative attention to detail as our business grows.”
Added Schrier, who first joined FX in 2000 as then president of entertainment Kevin Reilly's assistant: "Over the last 18 years at FX, I’ve been fortunate to work with and learn from extraordinary leaders, especially John Landgraf. These are transformative times and under this structure and John’s leadership, we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead as we expand our original programming portfolio and grow the FX brand."