There are big changes afoot at Fox Networks Group UK. Long-time Head of Programming and Scheduling Toby Etheridge, who has been in post since 2010, is exiting the company. He will be replaced Shoshana Wilson, who is currently serving as Director of Global Acquisitions in the regional European Team.
Additionally, Jeff Ford, who joined FOX UK as Managing Director in 2015, has announced plans to retire after a career in the industry that has spanned four decades. Ford will step down as MD and Senior Vice-President of Original Content for Europe & Africa later this year. He will continue to work with the company in a consultancy capacity in the first half of 2018 as he continues to develop and deliver the original content strategy.
Shoshana Wilson is expected to take up post later this year and will be responsible for all programming and scheduling for Fox Networks Group UK’s portfolio of channels (FOX UK, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild and YourTV). “Shoshana has been an incredibly important part of our European programming team and I’m delighted that she will be stepping up into this new role, to focus solely on our UK business, as we create some of our most ambitious schedules for our British viewers”, said Diego Londono, FNG Europe & Africa’s Chief Operating Officer.
Between them, Etheridge and Ford have been responsible for greatly expanding the range of content broadcast on the channel. This past year alone, Etheridge negotiated deals that allowed FOX UK to secure highly sought after U.S. dramas including 24: Legacy, Shots Fired, Prison Break and The Gifted – all of which were being chased by other UK broadcasters.
Ford, meanwhile, has been behind an original content push that saw FNG commission original drama Deep State, starring Mark Strong. Recruitment for a new UK MD and a Director of Global Acquisitions is already underway. No word on where Toby Etheridge, who leaves the company in November, is heading to next.
“With a career spanning over 40 years, Jeff Ford is synonymous with the UK Television industry”, Diego Londono added. “Since joining our organisation in 2015, Jeff has been instrumental in the success of our UK business, alongside creating and launching our original scripted content strategy for the region. Following his decision to retire at the end of the year from his full-time role, we are thrilled that we’ll continue to be working closely with Jeff well into 2018, as we launch our first regional commission Deep State in over 50 markets across the region.”