Eric Shanks Elevated to CEO of Fox Sports as Part of New ‘FOX’

Eric Shanks – longtime President, COO & Executive Producer at Fox Sports – is being elevated to CEO of the Fox Sports team as part of 21st Century Fox’s reorganization following Disney’s acquisition of the majority of its entertainment assets. Live sports content – along with live news – is expected to play an integral role at the “New Fox”. Shanks’ promotion was one of several executive appointments announced yesterday by Lachlan Murdoch, Future Chairman/CEO of “FOX” (as the new spun-off company will be known following the closing of the Disney deal). 

In addition to overseeing all entities within Fox Sports, including FS1, FS2, Fox Deportes and all digital ventures, Shanks will be responsible for setting the long-term vision and programming strategy for the company’s overall sports business. Shanks will report to Murdoch. His bio is here.

In addition to Shanks’s new role at Fox Sports CEO, key appointments include:

  • Paul Cheesbrough, promoted to Chief Technology Officer and Head of Direct to Consumer Platforms for Fox; currently serves as 21CF’s CTO
  • Mike Biard, elevated to President, Operations and Distribution for Fox from President, Distribution for Fox Networks Group
  • Marianne Gambelli, elevated to President of Ad Sales for Fox; currently serves as President of Ad Sales for Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network
  • Steve Tomsic, promoted to Fox’s Chief Financial Officer; currently serves as 21CF’s EVP, Finance and Deputy CFO

The appointments are effective upon the close of 21CF’s Disney transaction and the creation of the new FOX.

“We are fortunate to be able to continue working with these enormously talented executives who have helped make our businesses the incredible successes they are today,” said Murdoch.  “Collectively they bring to Fox the vision, entrepreneurial spirit and proven track records to position Fox to seize future opportunities for its leading and deeply resonant brands across sports, news and entertainment.”

As previously announced, John Nallen will be appointed Chief Operating Officer of Fox, Suzanne Scott will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer of Fox News and Fox Business Network, and Jack Abernethy will remain Chief Executive Officer of Fox Television Stations.   In addition, Viet Dinh was recently named the Chief Legal and Policy Officer of Fox.

In his new role as President, Operations and Distribution for Fox, Mike Biard will oversee the company’s multi-platform distribution strategy as well as the operations of The Lot.  In addition, he will participate with the leadership team on content acquisition strategies. He currently serves as President of Distribution for Fox Networks Group. In his new role he will report to John Nallen.  His bio is here.

Paul Cheesbrough, currently Chief Technology Officer for 21CF, will expand upon his current purview at Fox to also include oversight of the company’s direct-to-consumer strategy. In his new role, Mr. Cheesbrough will drive the company’s investments in technology and direct-to-consumer platforms.  He will report to Lachlan Murdoch.  His bio is here.

Marianne Gambelli, the current President of Ad Sales for Fox News and Fox Business Network, will assume a broader role at Fox as its President of Ad Sales.  In her new role, Ms. Gambelli will oversee all linear and nonlinear sales across Fox’s portfolio of brands, including Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Sports, FS1, FS2 and Fox Deportes, in addition of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.  Ms. Gambelli will report to Lachlan Murdoch.  Her bio is here.

Currently serving as 21CF’s Executive Vice President of Finance and Deputy Chief Financial Officer, Steve Tomsic will serve as the Chief Financial Officer for Fox and will report to John Nallen.  His bio is here.

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