Rob Wade Restructures Fox Entertainment Operations: Michael Thorn Adds Network Unscripted, Fernando Szew To Head Studios

EXCLUSIVE: Fox Entertainment CEO Rob Wade is realigning the company’s content and business operations into three groups, the Fox Television Network, Fox Entertainment Studios and sales arm Fox Entertainment Global.

The restructuring includes new senior leadership roles for Michael Thorn, who has been named President of the Fox Television Network, and Fernando Szew who will serve as Head of Fox Entertainment Studios. They will lead two of the three divisions, continuing to report to Wade. Fox’s Unscripted President Allison Wallach will be part of Szew’s team on the studio side.

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The changes create a streamlined structure that keeps network, studio and distribution operations separate under different leaders as opposed to the previous setup where both the scripted and unscripted for network and studio were overseen by the same executive.

“Under this new structure, every division of Fox Entertainment is now poised for growth and creative excellence as we super-serve our audiences everywhere,” Wade said. “Now the work begins.”

Fox Entertainment is consolidating all studio businesses globally under Szew, Founding Partner and CEO of MarVista Entertainment and most recently CEO of Fox Entertainment Global. The newly created Fox Entertainment Studios will consist of the Emmy Award-winning animation studio Bento Box Entertainment, which produces Fox’s animated series Krapopolis, Grimsburg, Bob’s Burgers and series for third-party platforms; Fox Alternative Entertainment, home to The Masked Singer; Fox scripted studios, which is behind the network’s first owned live-action comedy Animal Control; prolific made-for-platform movie producer MarVista Entertainment; Studio Ramsay Global, launched in partnership with Gordon Ramsay; and Harvey Levin’s entertainment studio TMZ.

Thorn, most recently President of Fox Entertainment, Scripted Programming, will also oversee the network’s unscripted fare, including hits such as The Masked Singer and the Gordon Ramsay shows.

He will manage the network’s scripted, unscripted and casting teams led by Brooke Bowman, EVP, Drama Programming and Development; Cheryl Dolins, SVP, Comedy and Animation Programming and Development; Yasmin Rawji, EVP, Unscripted; and Brittainy Roberts, SVP, Casting, respectively. Thorn, an architect of Fox’s animated slate ramp-up of the last several years, will also remains a member of the Bento Box Entertainment Steering Committee.

Thorn, who previously oversaw the Fox scripted studios, will collaborate closely with Szew on scripted development and production.

Allison Wallach, who has been President, Unscripted Programming at Fox, will now join Szew’s team as Head of Global Unscripted Programming for Fox Entertainment Studios, leading all creative and production for the division’s unscripted entertainment, which includes global formats owned and produced by FAE, including Beat My Mini-Mes (TF1/France), Marriage Market (ProSieben/Germany); and Celebrity Masterpiece (Workpoint/Thailand), among others.

The changes see Wallach move back to the studio side after running Fox Alternative Entertainment between 2020 and the end of 2022. Over the past year and a half she had also been overseeing unscripted at the Fox network.

The change for Wallach won’t impact John Hesling who took over running Fox Alternative Entertainment in March 2023. He will remain at the studio.

With Szew moving to his new studio role, there will be a search for his replacement as head of Fox Entertainment’s worldwide content sales unit Fox Entertainment Global. In the interim, the division will be led by Tony Vassiliadis, EVP of FEG, reporting to Wade.

A well liked veteran development executive who previously ran then-20th Century Fox TV’s drama department, Thorn joined Fox as Entertainment President more than six and a half years ago. He has steered the network’s scripted operations ever since as it made the transition from a vertically integrated broadcast net to an independent following the 2019 Disney acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets.

Over the past few of years, he has revamped Fox’s development model, largely foregoing pilots (except for rare comedy presentations) in favor of more cost-efficient straight-to-series orders.

Most recently, he has spearheaded an international content expansion, which involves developing and producing scripted series with local creators and studios in English-language territories. The strategy has yielded a drama series pickup for Canadian drama Murder in a Small Town, and comedy presentation order for UK’s Meet The Kumars.

Szew’s new role comes two years after Fox acquired MarVista Entertainment. Szew founded the company, with Michael Jacobs, in 2003, initially as a distribution outfit, before moving into production of original TV movies and series.

The company has a library of around 2,500 hours of content with around 80 new movies per year. It has become a big supplier to Fox’s own ad-free streaming service Tubi. Recent tiles include Daughter of the Bride with Marcia Gay Harden, Christmas is Canceled starring Dermot Mulroney and Chrissy Metz’s Stay Awake.

In his most recent role as CEO of Fox Entertainment Global, Szew has been overseeing international sales for Fox’s owned series — both scripted and unscripted — including live-action comedy Animal Control and animated Krapopolis.

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