Kurtzman role grows at 20th TV


20th Century Fox Television is completing the realignment of its top-tier management team by signing a deal with executive vp business and legal affairs Howard Kurtzman, whose responsibilities are being expanded.

In a similar move on the creative side, the studio recently upped head of drama development Jennifer Nicholson Salke to the newly created position of executive vp creative affairs, expanding her role to oversee drama and comedy development at the studio (HR 1/16).

Reporting to her are senior vp Patrick Moran, who was named head of the drama department, and senior vp Jonathan Davis, who was recruited from sister network Fox to lead the comedy department.

The elevation of Kurtzman and Nicholson Salke solidifies the duo's position as 20th TV chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman's top lieutenants in the business and creative areas.

"Jennifer has done an amazing job over the years in drama, and the new position will let her bring some of her tremendous development skills also to the comedy area," Newman said. "Howard has been our key business executive for a number of years, and we want him to be able to allocate his time in several other areas."

When Walden and Newman were named chairmen in July, the two said they would shift their focus from the day-to-day development efforts at the studio to such areas as digital content and new economic models (HR 7/9).

"These are promotions and added responsibilities for executives who have been shining for years and an opportunity for them to grow," Walden said. "But it doesn't necessarily add a new lawyer of management."

In addition to running the studio's business and legal affairs operations, Kurtzman, whose new title is executive vp of 20th TV, will be involved in overseeing the studio's digital content creation efforts, its animation business as well as its alternative production arm fox21.