Fox chairman Sandy Grushow steps down to launch Phase Two

MUMBAI: Fox Television Entertainment group chairman Sandy Grushow is stepping down to launch a Twentieth Century Fox-based production company called Phase Two. Grushow's contract was set to expire this summer. Though his resignation is effective immediately, Grushow will stay on at Fox for a few weeks to help with the transition.

The post that will become vacant following Grushow's exit is not being filled up for now. Instead, Fox Entertainment president Gail Berman and Twentieth Century Fox Television co-presidents Gary Newman and Dana Walden will now report to Fox Group chairman and CEO Peter Chernin.

Grushow has been quoted in a News Corp press release as saying, "This was a very complicated decision for me to make. I've accomplished more than I ever thought possible as a buyer and seller of TV shows, but as I contemplated my future over the holidays, I concluded that it was in my best interest to exercise the 'production' option negotiated as part of my current contract rather than entering into another long-term executive agreement with the Company."

"I've spent almost my entire career at Fox - from helping to launch a network that no one thought would ever succeed, to leading the television studio to industry prominence, to leading the network to a record three consecutive second-place season finishes, including two historic sweeps victories. Needless to say, it's been an extraordinary two decades. Through the years, I've been privileged to have Peter Chernin's support and friendship and one of the nicest aspects of my deal is that we can continue this uniquely successful relationship in my new role as a Fox producer," he further added.

Grushow, who started his career as an intern at Twentieth Century Fox in 1983, joined Fox Entertainment Group in 1988 as senior VP of advertising and promotion but left in 1995 as executive VP and president of the Group to become president of the interactive TV service Tele-TV. In November 1999, he returned to spearhead the Group as chairman and has been since overseeing entertainment operations at the Fox Broadcasting Company and its sister studio Twentieth Century Fox Television.

Chernin was also quoted in the release as saying, "Sandy has been a close and valued colleague for almost 20 years and he will be missed. His contributions to the evolution of Fox are too numerous to list - but I can say that Sandy's determination and savvy leadership over these past years have helped make the network and studio what they are today. I think he probably has had as long a tenure at the top of the fast-changing television industry as anyone in the business, and as much as I would have liked to continue to work shoulder to shoulder with Sandy as an executive, I certainly respect his decision and am looking forward to continuing our successful association."

Fox Entertainment Group, Inc. is owned 82 per cent by The News Corporation Limited and has total assets of approximately $24 billion and total annual revenues of approximately $11 billion as of 30 September 2003.

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