Los Angeles, CA – July 05, 2012 – In a series of moves that complement a previously announced restructuring of Fox Networks Group’s (FNG) business and legal affairs team, FNG Executive Vice President and General Counsel Rita Tuzon today announced several promotions within her team.
Long-time Fox business and legal affairs executive Kelly Cline has been promoted from Senior Vice President to Executive Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, Entertainment for Fox Cable Networks (FCN). In his new role, Mr. Cline who will continue to report to Ms. Tuzon, will be responsible for the business and legal aspects of FX, Fox Movie Channel, National Geographic Channel and NG Wild. He will also oversee the day-to-day business and legal affairs for all original series development, production management and acquired programming, as well as continue to implement the original programming growth strategy for the channels.
Ms. Tuzon was delighted about the move. “Kelly is a key executive in our entertainment group and brings not only his legal expertise but important business relationships across the spectrum of the entertainment world. He’s an extraordinary individual and this promotion is in recognition of his tremendous contributions.”
Mr. Cline joined Fox in 1989, as Counsel for 20th Century Fox Television and served as Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs, before joining FCN in 2005, as Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs.
Mr. Cline earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California. He received his J.D. from Gonzaga University, and his LL.M. degree from Boston University.
Matthew Bensen, who previously served as Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, Network Distribution for FCN. Reporting to Claudia Teran, EVP Business and Legal Affairs and Deputy General Counsel, Mr. Bensen will continue to be a key player on the distribution team through his strategic advice on, negotiation and drafting of distribution agreements with multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) for retransmission consent for the FOX broadcast networks and distribution of the FCN services across multiple platforms. Services include FX, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo Mundo, Fox Movie Channel, FUEL TV, FOX Sports Networks (FSN) and 20 regional cable sports networks, SPEED, SPEED2, FOX Soccer, FOX Soccer Plus, FOX College Sports and FOX Deportes. Mr. Bensen will also continue to work with the corporate transactional team on certain key matters.
Mr. Bensen has been with Fox since 2004. He joined the company from the Los Angeles office of O’Melveny & Myers, LLP, where he was an attorney focusing on a wide array of transactional areas including finance, private equity, IP and technology.
Mr. Bensen earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota (summa cum laude), and his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School.
Phillip Gharabegian, who previously served as Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, Sports for FCN. Mr. Gharabegian, who reports to Karen Brodkin, EVP Business and Legal Affairs for FOX Sports Media Group, will focus on the FSN regional networks in respect to negotiation, drafting, analysis and review of multi-media telecast rights agreements with professional sports teams, collegiate multi-media telecast rights and sponsor agreements, plus various other digital rights negotiation with pro leagues. Additionally, Mr. Gharabegian provides day-to-day business and legal affairs counsel for Home Team Sports, an advertising sales unit of FOX Sports.
Prior to joining Fox in 2002, Mr. Gharabegian was an attorney with Hogan & Hartson, LLP, where he had significant involvement with the representation of Fox Sports International in a sports joint venture transaction, as well as News Corporation’s sale of its interest in Fox Family Worldwide to The Walt Disney Company. Previously, Mr. Gharabegian was an Associate with Troop Steuber Pasich Reddick & Tobey, LLC.
Mr. Gharabegian earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge and his law degree from Loyola Law School, where he was a recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award.
“Fox Networks Group is the most successful programming entity in television, and our success is due in no small part to the strategic focus of our business-minded legal team,” said Ms. Tuzon. “These moves complement a recent reorganization that streamlines our distribution and content efforts across platforms, which will not only improve efficiency but increase revenue opportunities for our networks. Kelly, Matt and Phillip have been intimately involved with these cross-platform efforts in the entertainment, distribution and sports areas, and these promotions recognize the valuable role they will play as we take our content businesses to new heights in the coming years.”
Fox Networks Group, a primary operating unit of News Corporation (NASDAQ:NWS), consists of Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX), FOX Sports Media Group, the company’s national and regional cable programming services, FOX International Channels, and Fox Networks Engineering & Operations. These units produce, program and transmit much of America’s most popular entertainment, sports and information content via 43 owned-and-operated TV networks, video on demand and other media platforms. FOX is America’s most popular network; Fox Networks Group cable channels span FX, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo Mundo, Fox Movie Channel, FUEL TV, FSN and 20 regional cable sports networks, SPEED, SPEED2, FOX Soccer Channel, FOX Soccer Plus, FOX College Sports, FOX Deportes, Utilisima, Baby TV, BTN (co-venture with the Big Ten Conference), BTN2Go; and FOX International Channels include more than 350 networks delivered in 35 languages across Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The division also includes Fox Sports Enterprises, which manages interests in sports franchises and leading statistical information provider STATS, LLC.