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20th Century Fox Television President of Business Operations Howard Kurtzman to Retire in June 2020

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20th Century Fox Television President of Business Operations Howard Kurtzman to Retire in June 2020

Howard Kurtzman, president of Business Operations for 20th Century FOX Television and head of business and legal affairs for over two decades, will step down in June, it was announced today by Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment Chairman Dana Walden and Disney Television Studios President Craig Hunegs. Carolyn Cassidy, formerly president of Creative Affairs and partnered with Kurtzman, will be named president, 20th Century FOX Television.

"Two years ago, Howard came to Gary Newman and me to say he had decided it was time to retire," said Walden. "We begged him to stay for a year, as we were not ready to consider what the studio would look like without his leadership. One year later, Craig and I asked (begged) him to postpone his retirement by yet another year - this time to help coordinate the integration of 20th Century FOX Television into The Walt Disney Company - and he graciously agreed.

"Howard is an extraordinary leader, strategist, colleague and friend. Working with him has been one of the true highlights of my career and that is a sentiment which is shared by every executive, creator and representative who has interacted with him over the past three decades."

Added Hunegs, "Howard is a hall of fame TV executive who has been responsible for some of the most impressive and groundbreaking deals in the business. He's a great leader and mentor and we'll miss his terrific sense of humor."

Commented Kurtzman, "20th has been much more than my employer for all these years. It's also been an incredibly vibrant and exciting place to work, where we accomplished so many great things together, from 'Modern Family' to 'Family Guy,' 'Glee,' '24' and most recently 'This Is Us,' to name only a few. Those close to me know that I have been talking about stepping down for quite some time, and I am so grateful to Dana and Craig for their generosity through this process. This career has been an incredible ride - an E-ticket ride, in fact."

Howard Kurtzman has served as president of Business Operations for 20th Century FOX Television since 2014 when he was partnered with Jonnie Davis. During their tenure, the pair oversaw Dan Fogelman's critically acclaimed "This Is Us," the No. 1 scripted series on broadcast television and the only broadcast series in recent years to be nominated for both the Golden Globe® and the Emmy® Award for Best Drama Series. When Davis was named president of ABC Studios last summer, Kurtzman stayed on to partner with the newly named President of Creative Affairs Carolyn Cassidy and has recently closed overall deals with Dan Fogelman, Liz Meriwether, Steve Levitan, Lizzie & Wendy Molyneux, Saladin Patterson and Kay Oyegun, among many others. Prior to being named president, he formerly served as executive vice president, Business and Legal Affairs, running the business affairs and legal affairs teams for more than two decades. During his tenure, 20th Century FOX Television produced such noteworthy programs as the global franchise "24," "How I Met Your Mother," "Glee," "Family Guy," "Ally McBeal," "The Practice," "Bob's Burgers," "This Is Us," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and the longest-running prime-time scripted series of all time, "The Simpsons."

Kurtzman came to TCFTV from New World Entertainment, where he had served since 1995 as executive vice president, Business and Legal Affairs. New World was purchased in 1997 by News Corp, the parent company of Twentieth Century FOX Television. Prior to New World, Kurtzman worked for 12 years at Stephen J. Cannell Productions, ultimately rising to senior vice president, Business and Legal Affairs. He had previously served as director, Television Business Affairs, at MCA. He began his career as an associate at the law firm of Irwin and Rowan.


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