FOX ENTERTAINMENT CHIEF TO LEAVE NETWORK
Gail Berman to Join Paramount Pictures
Peter Liguori, the president-CEO of the FX cable network, takes the entertainment programming role at the News Corp. broadcast sibling less than two days after reports that Ms. Berman was headed to Viacom's Paramount Pictures, where she would have a top creative post.
Edgy cable programming
At FX, Mr. Liguori is credited with developing a number of edgy and talked-about shows, including The Shield, Nip/Tuck and Rescue Me.
Peter Chernin, president and chief operating officer of News Corp., which owns Fox and FX, said: "Peter Liguori has done an extraordinary job with FX. He took what was a blank slate and turned it into arguably the hottest network in cable."
Mr. Chernin said Mr. Liguori takes over a network that's in "as good a competitive position as its ever been," which he attributed to Ms. Berman's leadership.
Friendly with the ad community
Industry talk this morning focused on the possibility Mr. Liguori would get the Fox job. Speaking earlier today, Laura Caraccioli-Davis, senior vice president and director of Starcom Entertainment, Chicago, a unit of Publicis Groupe, said Mr. Liguori's move would give advertisers greater confidence in Fox. "He gets along well with the advertising community," she observed.
Mr. Liguori worked for two ad agencies, Publicis' Saatchi & Saatchi and WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather, before moving to HBO's home-video division. He moved to News Corp. in 1996 and helped launch the Fox Sports Network. He then ran all marketing for the cable group before joining FX in 1998.
One member of his staff said: "He comes from a New York/Bronx/Italian background and he proved himself at Yale and at HBO. One of the things he's done here is to take chances. ... Peter's basic philosophy is to aspire for us to be HBO."