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Fox TV Studios chief Calemzuk ditches Rupert Murdoch for Liz Murdoch

August 5, 2010 | 11:09 am

EMILIANO

Fox executive Emiliano Calemzuk is jettisoning one Murdoch for another.

Calemzuk, the president of News Corp.'s Fox Television Studios, which primarily produces shows for cable, such as the USA hits "Burn Notice" and "White Collar," is leaving Rupert Murdoch's empire to go work for the mogul's daughter Elisabeth Murdoch as chief executive of the American arm of her Shine Group production company.

In his new role, Calemzuk will also oversee the U.S. offices of Reveille, the production company whose credits include NBC's "The Office" and "The Biggest Loser." He will report directly to Elisabeth Murdoch.

"Emiliano is a world-class creative executive," Murdoch said in a statement. Calemzuk will also join Shine's executive board.

No replacement has been named for Calemzuk at Fox Television Studios. One candidate will likely be Dave Madden, an executive vice president at the Fox Television Studios who oversees their scripted content. The unit reports to 20th Century Fox Television, which is headed by Gary Newman and Dana Walden.

Calemzuk was a rising star at News Corp. and took over Fox Television Studios in 2007 after spending much of his career at the company working in its international operations. He reduced overhead and began focusing on producing dramas for cable and broadcast television. The biggest successes have been on cable.

One of Calemzuk's strategies was to sell shows overseas first and then try to sell them to broadcast networks here. The rationale for that approach was that broadcasters wouldn't have to pay so much for shows because money was already coming in from abroad.

The downside was that since the networks were committing to series rather than buying a pilot and then making a decision and thus were not involved in the show from the start, they didn't always put a lot of muscle behind the promotion and marketing of the programs.

Still, Calemzuk leaves Fox Television Studios much better then he found it. The unit was in the red prior to his arrival and last year generated about $20 million in profits. 

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Emiliano Calemzuk. Credit: Carlos Somonte
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