SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Fox execs insist 'future will be bright' for network's creatives amid merger

Two top Fox executives caught in the middle of the company's corporate divorce offered few clues about their future o...

Posted: Jan 4, 2018 10:08 PM
Updated: Jan 4, 2018 10:08 PM

Two top Fox executives caught in the middle of the company's corporate divorce offered few clues about their future on Thursday, insisting that it will be "business as usual" for the next 12 to 18 months, while Disney seeks approval to absorb most of its assets.

Fox TV Group co-chairmen Gary Newman and Dana Walden are in a particularly awkward spot, since they oversee both the 20th Century Fox production studio -- which is part of the Disney acquisition -- and the Fox TV network, which mogul Rupert Murdoch intends to keep.

Addressing reporters at the TV Critics Association tour in Pasadena, California, Newman suggested that the "new Fox" -- which would include Fox Sports and Fox News, as well as the broadcast network -- would be "robust and nimble," but also acknowledged there had been a degree of anxiety among the creative personnel currently making shows for the network. He insisted, however, "the future will be bright for our creative partners."

Ryan Murphy, whose hits "American Horror Story" and "Glee" have come out of the studio, admitted he was "very not prepared for what happened," but said he received calls from both the Murdochs and Disney CEO Bob Iger in light of the news, during which he expressed his concern that his edgy brand of content may not have a home at the new Fox.

Murphy said Iger -- who has reportedly reached out to other key personnel at the studio -- attempted to assuage his concerns.

"I'm sort of interested to see what that company is going to look like before I make any decision abut where I'm going to go," Murphy said, citing Disney's success in absorbing Pixar and Marvel.

Related: Trump's antitrust team will be working overtime on Disney/Fox deal

Newman and Walden's own professional futures are also in question, in terms of staying with the network or going with the studio to Disney.

Walden, who has been floated as a candidate for other top jobs outside Fox, punted as to what her future might hold.

"Clearly I'm going to have a decision to make," Walden said after the panel. "I love this company. I love the team. Gary and I have had a hand in putting virtually every person in place. I'm very committed to them. I wouldn't speculate right now about leaving or, frankly, anything other than the work that's at hand."

Newman said there's no "timeline for our decision" but that both he and Walden "anticipate staying the course through this period of time to get to the resolution of this merger."

From an economic standpoint, industry sources have wondered about what a Fox network without a studio might look like.

Walden and Newman suggested that the channel would be a hospitable home for other key program suppliers -- such as Sony and Lionsgate -- that lack their own broadcast networks.

In addition to being the principal supplier to the Fox network, 20th Century Fox produces shows for its rivals, including NBC's "This is Us" and ABC's "Modern Family."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 138168

Reported Deaths: 1880
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah29114464
Washington19279179
Marion16740248
Clackamas12039141
Lane8767113
Jackson716996
Umatilla699273
Deschutes519440
Yamhill329948
Linn321249
Malheur320155
Polk258140
Klamath255046
Josephine184536
Benton182014
Douglas177445
Jefferson173825
Union115117
Wasco111923
Columbia107618
Lincoln103317
Coos100915
Hood River98521
Morrow96610
Clatsop7075
Crook66113
Baker5825
Tillamook3702
Curry3255
Lake2535
Grant2171
Harney1816
Wallowa993
Gilliam531
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00
Eugene
Mostly Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 37°
Corvallis
Mostly Cloudy
35° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 30°
Roseburg
Mostly Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 37°
North Bend
Partly Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 32°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events