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Tom Rothman, the long-serving co-chairman and CEO of the 20th Century Fox film studio, is leaving his post, a well-placed source tells The Hollywood Reporter.
All studio operations will be consolidated under studio co-chairman Jim Gianopulos, the source says.
In conjunction with Rothman’s departure, News Corp. will reorganize its studio operations that separates the film and TV production units. As a result, the film division will change its name to 20th Century Fox Film (including 20th Century Fox Film, Fox Searchlight, Fox 2000, Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios, Fox International Productions, and Fox Home Entertainment).
20th Century Fox Television, which also includes Fox Television Studios and Fox 21,will become a stand-alone business unit within News Corp. “Accordingly, current co-chairs Dana Walden and Gary Newman will now report directly to Chase Carey, News Corporation’spresident and chief operating officer.”
UPDATE: Rothman has sent the following email to Fox staff:
My Dear Friends,
I have decided that, after more than 18 years — the bulk of my adult working life — I am resigning as Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment, effective January 1, 2013. During my time at Fox, thanks to you, we have together accomplished more than I ever imagined possible, from the founding and nurturing of Searchlight, to overseeing the two biggest films in box office history, to consistently ranking at the top among studio profitability year in and year out (including our most recent strong fiscal year), and, most of all, making dozens of exceptional films that I believe will stand the test of time. I’m proud as hell of that run. But I’ve done the same thing, at the same place, for a long time (indeed, in the 75 year history of our studio, no one has supervised movies for longer except Darryl Zanuck himself). I do need some new challenges and to write a new chapter.
I love Fox and all of you and take comfort knowing that, although there is never a perfect time to leave, because the slate for the next several years is in awesome shape, this is at least a pretty good one. I know that Jim G. and all of you will continue our long tradition of winning ways, and I will be rooting hard for you. I will also be around until the end of the year to help with the transition and celebrate some of the hits we are about to have.
Finally, let me say, how eternally grateful I will always be for the privilege and the honor of having had this job, and above all else, working with you all — quite simply, the best, most talented, and the kindest colleagues in the world. If I can leave you with one thought, it’s this: for all these years, I have tried to do the job with, above all else, integrity. I think our company stands for doing what is right, even if that is not always easy, and for prizing honesty and forthrightness. I hope that you will carry that mission forward. As for me, a bunch of you guys know what the tattoo on my ankle says. It’s what I wish for us all: “Excelsior”!
With Love and Gratitude,
News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch and Carey issued a statement on Friday lauding Rothman:
Today we are announcing that Tom Rothman will step down as Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment at the end of this year. Jim Gianopulos, who has led the business with Tom since 2000, will expand his leadership role as its sole Chairman and CEO.
We would like to extend our appreciation to Tom for the critical role he has played in building our film studio into an industry leader. His legacy includes many of the biggest films of the last few decades as well as the creation of our indie powerhouse Fox Searchlight. We wish Tom all the best and know he will have continued success in his next chapter.
With a robust slate of upcoming films and Jim’s continued leadership, our film unit is well positioned for future growth and couldn’t be in better hands. We are confident that Jim’s stellar business and creative acumen will take our film business to new heights.
We’re also announcing that Twentieth Century Fox Television will now become a stand-alone business unit within News Corporation, and will no longer be part of our film operations. As a result, its Co-Chairs Dana Walden and Gary Newman will now report directly to Chase. With a track record of hits like Homeland, Glee, Modern Family, American Horror Story and Sons of Anarchy, they are unquestionably one of the best creative teams in the television business and we look forward to working more closely with them. In addition, to reflect this new structure, our film business will now assume the name Twentieth Century Fox Film.
Please join us in thanking Tom for his enormous contributions to the company and wishing Jim, Gary and Dana continued success. For more information, please see the attached.
Rupert Murdoch and Chase Carey
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