Los Angeles, CA – June 30, 2014 – Fox Networks Group (FNG), 21st Century Fox’s industry-leading portfolio of global broadcast and pay television channels, today announced a landmark partnership with longtime entertainment executive and former Fox Broadcasting President Gail Berman to create a new independent production entity, The Jackal Group. The new co-venture will complement 21st Century Fox’s acclaimed collection of production businesses in developing, producing and exploiting premium scripted, unscripted and factual entertainment programming for FNG’s channels, including Fox Broadcasting Company, FX/FXX, the National Geographic Channels and Fox International Channels. The partnership also will provide for opportunities in the digital and feature film arenas as well as for non-21st Century Fox distribution entities. Additionally, The Jackal Group will draw on Berman's acclaimed background in theater in creating and developing concepts for live, theatrical entertainment. Making the announcement was Peter Rice, Chairman and CEO of FNG.
Ms. Berman, who will have an equity stake in the independent venture, will serve as Chairman and CEO of The Jackal Group and will report to the new entity’s board, on which she will serve as a director alongside Mr. Rice and FNG President and COO Randy Freer.
“Over the last two decades, Gail has built an impeccable track record as one of the industry’s most dynamic and prolific production executives,” said Mr. Rice. “This new joint venture will provide FNG with yet another source for quality programming, supplementing our already established and proven studio pipeline backed by the industry’s most talented creative executives, and will better position us to meet the increasing demand for quality content. We look forward to benefiting from Gail’s creative vision and experience as she seeks out new opportunities for ‘Jackal’ on every possible platform.”
“I am delighted to be returning home to the Fox family and to be working with Peter and Randy,” said Ms. Berman. “Peter has given me a tremendous opportunity to do what I love best – create outstanding content across a variety of media platforms. I am thrilled and cannot wait to get started.”
Ms. Berman is one of the few media executives to hold the top posts at both a major film studio and a broadcast television network. She was named President of Paramount Pictures in March 2005. Before joining Paramount, Ms. Berman served from 2000 to 2005 as President of Entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Company. She took the network to the top of the ratings for the first time in its history, developing and producing gigantic hits such as American Idol, 24, House, Arrested Development, Bones, andFamily Guy.
Prior to Fox, Ms. Berman served as founding President of Regency Television, the TV studio created in 1998 as a co-venture between Fox Television Studios and New Regency Productions. Under Berman, Regency Television quickly grew into one of the most prolific and respected suppliers of TV entertainment programming, including the primetime hit Malcolm in the Middle. Earlier, as President and CEO of Sandollar Television, Berman served as executive producer on the global hit shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.
Most recently, Ms. Berman spent seven years as co-founder and co-owner of the media company BermanBraun, which became an innovator in the digital arena, creating and operating some of the most successful online brands in categories including celebrity, entertainment and lifestyle. The company’s properties have also included numerous successful reality and scripted programs, and live-action and animated film projects.
She is currently producing the six-episode event series Dig for USA Network through Tecumseh Productions.
Ms. Berman began her career as a theater producer when she co-produced her first Broadway show, the original Broadway production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which went on to garner seven Tony Award nominations. Berman’s other Broadway productions include Hurlyburly by David Rabe (1984), Athol Fugard’s Blood Knot (1985), and The Nerd by Larry Shue (1987), all of which received Tony Award nominations.
Fox Networks Group is a primary operating unit of 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) and 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 44 owned-and-operated and joint venture TV networks, video on demand and other media platforms. FOX is America's most popular network; Fox Networks Group cable channels span FX, FXX, FXM, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo Mundo, FSN and 22 regional cable sports networks, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, FOX Soccer Plus, FOX College Sports, FOX Deportes, FOX Life, Baby TV, BTN (co-venture with the Big Ten Conference), additionally digital extensions including BTN2Go, FOX Sports GO, FXNOW, and Nat Geo TV. FOX International Channels features U.S. Spanish-language broadcast net MundoFox, in addition to more than 300 networks delivered in 48 languages across Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The division also includes Fox Sports Enterprises, which manages interests in sports franchises.
Scott Grogin, Fox Networks Group
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