Ira Kurgan leaving Yahoo for Fox

Will rejoin as chief of network business ops

Longtime Fox executive Ira Kurgan is heading back to News Corp. after a stint at Yahoo.

Kurgan will rejoin Fox Broadcasting Co. as chief of network business operations. Before leaving in 2005 for Yahoo, Kurgan spent 18 years as a business affairs executive at Fox, rising to president of network business operations.

In his new role at Fox, Kurgan will oversee business operations at the broadcast network, reporting to entertainment chairman Peter Ligouri, and also work on new-media deals at Fox Digital Media, which is under the oversight of Dan Fawcett, president of the division.

Yahoo had hired Kurgan as chief business officer of its media group in May 2005, and he reported to Lloyd Braun, who was head of that division at the time. Kurgan's responsibilities included dealmaking, partnerships, strategic alliances and all other business and legal affairs within the media group.

But since Kurgan's arrival at Yahoo, the troubled portal has seen several top executives leave its media group, including Braun, whose departure was announced in December 2006. Last December, Vince Broady, senior vp games entertainment and youth, left Yahoo's media group as well, and last month Yahoo Music exec Ian Rogers moved on from the division. Scott Moore is senior vp and head of media for the company.

A Yahoo spokesman confirmed that Kurgan was no longer with the company, and he said that Brooke Chaffin, who has been heading business development for the media team since 2007's fourth quarter, would continue in that capacity. The spokesman said the business development team will continue to oversee the work that Kurgan was doing at Yahoo.

Kurgan's replacement at the network, Lee Bartlett, left in March to join British broadcaster ITV as COO for the ITV Global production arm.

In his last stint at Fox, Kurgan was most recently president of network business affairs at Fox Broadcasting, overseeing all business affairs, legal affairs, broadcast standards and practices, theatrical film acquisitions and risk management for reality programming along with serving as a member of the advisory board for Revolution Studios.

He was promoted several times to reach that position, having begun his tenure at Fox as vp business affairs.

Before joining Fox in 1987, Kurgan worked as director of business affairs for movies and miniseries at CBS. He also worked as a production counsel for United Artists.

Alex Woodson reported from New York; Nellie Andreeva reported from Los Angeles.