Robert F.X. Sillerman's on Simon Cowell's and Simon Fuller's agendas
Robert F.X. Sillerman, the media magnate whose CKX Inc. is the parent company of "American Idol" producer 19 Entertainment, isn't worried about Simon Cowell leaving the show and dismisses speculation that Simon Fuller, who created "Idol" and is on the CKX board, wants to unseat him.
Cowell, who is wrapping up a deal with Fox to bring his British hit "The X Factor" to the network in fall 2011, a move that would likely mean he'd give up full-time judging duties on "American Idol" after the season that starts this week wraps in May. (For more on Cowell's next move, see our story here.)
Sillerman said that perhaps new judge Ellen DeGeneres will ultimately become the next focal point of the show. " 'American Idol,' " he added, "will outlive you and me."
While there has been a ton of attention focused on the likely exit of Simon Cowell, "Idol" creator Simon Fuller may be getting ready to make a move of his own with Sillerman in his sights.
Fuller is eyeballing the top job at CKX, people close to the British entertainment mogul said. His camp is predicting that he will take over the company from Sillerman this year, according to an article in the Britain's Telegraph newspaper last month.
If that is the case, they're not clueing in Sillerman, who dismisses talk that Fuller wants his desk.
"Simon is much more interested in creating things than he is in meeting with analysts and handling the chores of a public company chief executive," Sillerman said, adding that a corporate job would be a "huge waste of his talent."
Sillerman waves off rumors of Fuller wanting to become chief executive of CKX as reported in the British press. "There is nothing to what was reported ... I can't foresee any circumstance that Simon and I will not be working together for years and years to come."
We'll see about that.
-- Joe Flint
Photo: Robert F.X. Sillerman. Credit: Mitsu Yasukawa/Los Angeles Times.