The most surprising aspects of last week’s News Corp exec shakeup, the ouster of Fox Broadcasting CEO and the promotion of Fox Searchlight prez Peter Rice to head of entertainment for Fox TV, have now been explained.
Liguori was never very close to Rupert Murdoch, making it easy for Rupe to get rid of him to keep Peter Rice, head of Fox’s successful Searchlight studio whose contract would be up in a year, in the fold, Variety says.
Rice had made some rumblings that he was looking at what to do next — and was interested in new challenges. He didn’t push for the TV job, but Murdoch saw an opportunity for Rice at Fox and also a chance to inject the network with some new blood.
Still, insiders tell the trade that speculation that Murdoch is grooming Rice to be his new No. 2 is premature. For now, Rice has the not-small task of trying to grow and remodel the TV biz, including finding a live-action comedy hit for Fox. Little Miss Sunshine: the TV show perhaps?
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