Fox announced today that Kevin Reilly, the network's entertainment chairman, is stepping down after seven years at the network. So what challenges does the network have ahead of it as it faces a leadership change?
Reilly came to Fox first as entertainment president and then rose to chairman in 2012. Hollywood Reporter's Lacey Rose wrote that rumors of a change up top for the network were in the air at upfronts earlier this month considering a "handful of Reilly's comedies didn't appear on the schedule as many expected." She added: "Others note that Reilly, a favorite among TV reporters for his candor, had grown removed from the creative process, rarely sitting in on pitches and often weighing in late in the development cycle." As for who will take his place, some have speculated that it will be FX's John Landgraf, Dana Walden of 20th Century Fox Television, or Fox Broadcasting COO Joe Earley. They'll have to deal with some of the question marks lingering over the network.
Fox's one-time reality goliath is falling. "The network's longtime ratings engine, 'American Idol,' fell apart this year, losing nearly half of its audience compared to its 2013 run," the Los Angeles Times' Meg James wrote when evaluating Reilly's departure. "The aging show, which once drew more than 25 million viewers an episode, mustered about 8 million viewers as it reached its finale earlier this month." During upfronts week, Reilly touted that Idol would be "streamlined" next season, with fewer hours of the show airing. Reilly, meanwhile, is banking on reality show Utopia during the fall season, airing it twice in a week.