Why Veteran Exec David Hill Is Leaving 21st Century Fox After 27 Years

Departs as Murdoch sons arrive

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The man who brought the constant score and time graphic to sports telecasts and innovations like hockey's glow puck and football's yellow first-down line, is leaving his longtime home at 21st Century Fox.

David Hill, who has been with News Corp. since 1988, will leave the company just as the next generation of Murdochs takes over.

Hill was the co-founder of the FOX Network, FOX Sports, the Regional Sports Networks and Sky Television. He most recently served as senior executive vp for 21st Century Fox.

"Of all the fun parts, the proudest was running the Fox Network in the late '90s," Hill said in a statement. "When I was given responsibility, it lagged in a pitiful fourth place. Working with Peter Roth, Mike Darnell and a group of fearless television warriors, we took it to No. 2 by 1999."

In 1993, Hill built Fox Sports "from the ground up." It reached new heights when News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch and the upstart FOX outbid CBS for the rights to the NFL's National Football Conference games, a relationship that continues today.

Last week, Murdoch named his sons as company successors—James Murdoch becomes CEO next Wednesday, while Lachlan Murdoch takes on the role of executive co-chairman, along with his father.

Hill will launch a new production venture called HILLY, which will be backed by 21st Century Fox and focus on live production and reality shows.

"I believe the future of the broadcast networks lies in big, spectacular live events," Hill said. "As I've spent most of my life producing those, I think I can give some added value. In a funny way, this is like finishing my apprenticeship."

In his new role, Hill will continue working on the final season of American Idol.

@ChrisAriens chris.ariens@adweek.com Chris Ariens is the managing editor and director of video at Adweek.
Publish date: June 23, 2015 https://dev.adweek.com/tv-video/why-veteran-exec-david-hill-leaving-21st-century-fox-after-27-years-165524/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT