Fox’s reality supremo Rob Wade has been elevated to CEO of Fox Entertainment.
Wade, previously President, Alternative Entertainment and Specials of Fox Entertainment, has landed the top job vacated by Charlie Collier, who exited last month to join streamer Roku. Wade will report to Lachlan Murdoch, Executive Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Corporation.
In his new role, Wade will oversee Fox Entertainment’s portfolio, which includes animation house Bento Box Entertainment; MarVista Entertainment; TMZ; the in-house unscripted studio Fox Alternative Entertainment, which he launched; Studio Ramsay Global, in whose creation he was deeply involved; scripted content creator Fox Entertainment Studios; Blockchain Creative Labs; and the Fox Entertainment Global content sales unit.
“Since the formation of Fox Entertainment, Rob has been an integral part of the leadership team responsible for delivering on its long-term strategy of creating an independent media company built on broadcast, developing an owned content portfolio and maintaining a disciplined in-house infrastructure ,” said Murdoch. “Given Rob’s sharp creative instincts and proven operational acumen, he is well-suited to lead Fox Entertainment in what promises to be an exciting next chapter in its rich history.”
Wade had been among the leading contenders to succeed Collier, alongside other senior executives internally, including Fox Entertainment president Michael Thorn and COO Amy Carney.
He becomes the latest Brit to make it to the top executive suite at a US network and joins the likes of Fox and Disney’s Peter Rice, NBCU’s Frances Berwick, former NBC chief Paul Telegdy, ex-ABC boss Paul Lee and USA Entertainment’s Michael Jackson.
Wade is also the latest reality chief to move up, although given Fox’s preponderance of reality hits such as The Masked Singer, it highlights the importance of non-scripted to the company in the post-Disney acquisition era as an independent broadcaster. The Masked Singerthe network’s biggest ratings hit for the last few years, recently launched its eighth season.
Wade joined Fox Entertainment in March 2017. He has overseen the network’s unscripted slate, which also includes shows such as Lego Masterswhich was created under his watch, as well as long-running series such as MasterChef.
He was also responsible for the launch of Fox’s in-house production unit, Fox Alternative Entertainment, which has produced a number of its key titles and has generated international formats as part of a $100 million global formats fund.
Wade has a close relationship with one of the network’s biggest stars – fellow Brit Gordon Ramsay. In addition to overseeing Ramsay shows such as Hell’s Kitchen, MasterChef, MasterChef Jr., Next Level Chef and upcoming series Gordon Ramsay’s Food Starshe was integral to a major deal with the British celebrity chef.
Last August, they created Studio Ramsay Global, which was born out of Ramsay’s previous television business, Studio Ramsay, a partnership with All3Media. The acquisition and creation of the new company also came with a major overall deal that is understood to be in the nine-figure range.
Wade has been a rising star at the network over the last five years and has been praised by execs for the fiscal responsibility of his non-scripted slate, for navigating the pandemic and keeping a number of key titles on air and for finding new ways to fund development.
“I am honored to be entrusted with leading Fox Entertainment into the future with an exceptionally talented team, whom I know very well, as we build and expand on Fox’s legacy of storytelling excellence, entrepreneurial energy and innovation,” Wade said. “It’s a transformative time across the global entertainment landscape, presenting limitless opportunity and, above all, creativity, making the outlook ahead bright and exhilarating.”
Before joining Fox, Wade was showrunner of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars and was head of entertainment development at BBC Worldwide, which produces the show. He has also been an exec producer of Fox’s The X-Factor and NBC’s America’s Got Talent and was Head of TV at SyCo Entertainment North America.