The veteran sports producer and executive will manage the two talent competitions in the absence of a reality programming chief
Amid much flux in the wake of alternative programming chief Mike Darnell's exit, News Corp's senior executive vice president David Hill will oversee production on "American Idol" and "The X Factor."
According to a network representative, Fox Networks group chairman and CEO Peter Rice and Fox Entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly asked the veteran to take oversight on its talent competitions.
The rep emphasized that Hill is not a replacement for Darnell, as the company is continuing its search for candidates.
In a more traditional network-producer relationship, Hill will act as Fox's supervising executive for the shows on their upcoming season. He will then help the new reality chief transition into the shows for future seasons.
Meanwhile, having someone supervise those shows for Fox will also allow the new reality chief to focus more on development and get caught up to speed before overseeing the talent competitions.
Hill is credited with building the Fox Sports Media Group. Last year, he left Fox to take the post at parent company News Corp. Since then, he has been charged with launching new networks and digital initatives, including 24 hour sports channel, Fox Sports 1.
The Australian native's immense experience with producing live events was also considered in making the decision, the rep said.
Also read: Nicki Minaj Confirms 'American Idol' Exit
Hill's appointment comes on the heels of TheWrap's report of chaos at "Idol" in the wake of Darnell's exit. We reported exclusively on Tuesday that Fox had fired the show's top producers Nigel Lythgoe and Fremantle Media's Ken Warwick.
Without someone to make final decisions on its reality shows after Darnell's sudden exit, "Idol" was at a standstill. Jennifer Hudson's $4-5.5 million contract to join as a judge hasn't been executed yet. And decision making on what to do with the judges' panel after Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj's exits are unresolved.
Still one of the highest rated shows on broadcast TV, "American Idol's" ratings has been sinking for several seasons now. Season 12 saw a more than 20 percent decline in its ratings compared to the previous season.
Simon Cowell's "The X Factor," too, had not been performing up to expectations. Its Season 2 finale only attracted 9.6 million viewers and had a 3.1 rating, down 18 percent from its first season finale.