As it doubles down on sports, Fox taps AMC executive to run entertainment programming

Charlie Collier. (Fox)

As Fox extends its bet on sports programming to lift it in ratings battles with ABC, CBS and NBC, the company is bringing in an outsider to help boost its entertainment programming.

Fox announced that it has hired Charlie Collier, president and general manager of AMC, to be the new CEO of entertainment. Collier will oversee the Fox Broadcasting Network and lead the company's entertainment programming strategy across live, scripted and non-scripted content. He starts his new job on Nov. 1.

"I can't imagine a more exciting next step than this new role at FOX, which combines the power and reach of a broadcast division, some of the best live assets on the planet from which to build entertainment audiences and fan engagement, and a proven leadership team with a 'make new rules' start-up mentality,” Collier said in a statement.

At AMC, Collier helped develop some of the most popular and well-received dramas on television including "Mad Men," and "Breaking Bad," and "The Walking Dead.” In addition to working at AMC, Collier has also held senior roles at Oxygen and A&E Networks.

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For Fox, bringing in Collier to run entertainment for the network demonstrates interest in scripted programming even as the company leans heavily toward sports content to fill out its lineup. Fox recently did a deal with a the NFL for sole broadcast TV rights to Thursday Night Football and also signed a deal with the WWE, which next year will bring WWE SmackDown to the Fox broadcast network on Friday nights.

During the NAB Show New York last week, CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus was asked about NFL rights and he said that Fox’s deal for Thursday Night Football was a smart move even though the deal essentially adds up to deficit spending for Fox.

“Fox did a really smart thing by guaranteeing they’ll win primetime ratings for 11 nights,” McManus said.

Fox said the Collier appointment was the final announcement in a string of senior leadership roles named as Fox plans its structure following the $71.3 billion Disney acquisition.