Fox executive has experience negotiating affiliate agreements
Hulu is poised to name Mike Hopkins, president of distribution at News Corp.’s Fox Networks, as its next chief executive officer, according to a report in Bloomberg.
If Hopkins is tapped for the top post, it will end a long period of executive instability at the online video company, which has been trying to find a replacement for Jason Kilar since he resigned as CEO in January. Andy Forssell, the company’s former content chief, has served as acting CEO since Kilar’s exit.
It’s been a roller coaster year for Hulu, which saw owners the Walt Disney Company, 21st Century Fox and Comcast flirt with selling the service, before nixing those plans in July. They have since opted to build up Hulu, poring $750 million in funding to grow the streaming service’s suite of programming at a time when it faces stiff competition from Netflix, Amazon and other deep-pocketed online video players.
Hulu and Hopkins did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Hopkins doesn’t offer the digital bona fides of a Kilar, but he does have extensive experience negotiating affiliate agreements for Fox’s broadcast and cable arms, which may be an indication that Hulu is looking to leverage its mobile and digital platforms to create new partnerships with cable companies looking to expand their footprint beyond the cable box.
Hulu generated roughly $700 million in revenue in 2012 and has roughly three million paying customers for its Hulu Plus subscription service.