Joe Earley to Step Down as Fox Television Group COO

Executive has overseen multiple departments and initiatives in 21 years at broadcaster

Last Updated: October 29, 2015 @ 11:07 AM

Joe Earley will depart his role as COO of Fox Television Group at the end of the year, the company announced Thursday.

Earley is one of Fox’s longest tenured television executives, having joined the company in 1994 as a senior publicist. He was named COO of the newly formed Fox Television Group in 2014, after Gary Newman and Dana Walden, longtime heads of studio 20th Century Fox Television, gained oversight of network Fox Broadcasting Company. Earley had served as COO of the network under its previous chief, Kevin Reilly.

As COO, Earley has headed marketing and communications, digital, research, talent relations, scheduling and audience strategy at Fox Broadcasting Company, and worked with 20th Century Fox Television’s development, production, marketing, business affairs and finance leads on strategic initiatives, as well as talent relations and publicity at the studio.

Earlier this year, Earley spoke with Walden and Newman about beginning a transition process for his eventual departure. A key step took place in July with the hiring of former Relativity Media executive Angela Courtin as executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

Earley had, shortly before Reilly’s departure in 2014, been given oversight of the network’s programming departments. Though he was promoted upon Newman and Walden’s arrival at the network — having worked closely with them as studio heads — oversight of creative was shifted to entertainment president David Madden, who came to the network from the studio.

“Over the past 21 years, I’ve had the great fortune of working alongside some of the most talented and inspiring people in the business, from my co-workers and bosses, to the talent on our shows, both in front of and behind the camera,” said Earley in a statement. He thanked Walden and Newman, as well as Fox Networks Group chairman and CEO Peter Rice, and added, “All of this new opportunity, however, as rewarding as it is, has led me further and further from the creative process, which is really where my heart wants to be. So, while I will miss my extended Fox family terribly, it is time for me to pursue the proverbial, ‘next chapter.’ As a former publicist, I thought I would never use that phrase, but it turns out that sometimes it’s true.”

Earley’s direct reports will now report to Newman and Walden. No replacement is expected to be named in the immediate term.

Earley began his career in production and development, working for producer Gale Anne Hurd. Prior to joining Fox, he worked for several years in media relations at HBO.

Read full statements from Earley, Newman and Walden, and Rice below:

From Earley:

“Over the past 21 years, I’ve had the great fortune of working alongside some of the most talented and inspiring people in the business, from my co-workers and bosses, to the talent on our shows, both in front of and behind the camera. Because of the entrepreneurial spirit that pervades FOX, and the incredible support of the teams across the network, I have been afforded unbelievable opportunities for growth and new experiences. I’m very grateful to Dana Walden, Gary Newman and Peter Rice for their leadership and friendship, and for inviting me to join them at the Fox Television Group, which has allowed me to also appreciate the impressive team on the studio side. All of this new opportunity, however, as rewarding as it is, has led me further and further from the creative process, which is really where my heart wants to be. So, while I will miss my extended FOX family terribly, it is time for me to pursue the proverbial, ‘next chapter.’ As a former publicist, I thought I would never use that phrase, but it turns out that sometimes it’s true.”

From Newman and Walden:

“Joe is one of the most talented executives and gifted leaders we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, so we are saddened that he has decided to step down. We have been discussing his desire to get closer to the creative process for a while now, and although we would love for him to stay at Fox for another 21 years, we understand and fully support his plans to take on new challenges. We are extremely grateful to Joe for his partnership, strategic insight and all of his contributions to the company, and we know we’ll be working with him again soon.”

From Rice:

“I have been fortunate to work with Joe for nearly seven years, and one of the things I admire most about him is the deep level of trust and confidence he’s built with our creators, talent and industry peers. His sharp business sense, passion for creativity and ability to inspire and mobilize teams have made him an extraordinary and beloved executive here at Fox – and he will undoubtedly have that same impact no matter what path he chooses to take next.”

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