Hulu set to name Fox Networks exec new CEO

huluTM_355_squareUS internet TV site Hulu is reportedly close to naming veteran Fox Networks executive Mike Hopkins as its next CEO, replacing interim chief Andy Forssell.

According to a Bloomberg report, which cites people close to the matter, the appointment is due to be announced “shortly” with the hire set to position Hulu more as a media property focused on distribution than a technology innovator thanks to Hopkins’ industry experience.

Hopkins is currently president of distribution at Fox Networks, where he oversees distribution strategy, sales and marketing activity for Fox’s 45 linear and non-linear, US and regional domestic television networks and HD TV and video-on-demand extensions. He also is responsible for developing digital strategies for Fox Networks Group and oversees network distribution at Fox Broadcasting Company.

A longstanding Fox veteran, Hopkins first joined Fox in 1997 as director of affiliate sales. Since then he has helped Fox Networks to grow and is credited by the firm as being instrumental in Fox’s retransmission consent and channel carriage agreements with Time Warner Cable, DISH Network, Cablevision and DirecTV, as well as the successful launches of several networks, including BTN (formerly Big Ten Network), National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild, Fuel TV and FOX College Sports.

Though news of the hire has not yet been officially announced, Reuters reported separately that Hulu is negotiating with Hopkins to name him CEO.

The Hulu CEO role has been vacant since the departure Jason Kilar at the end of March. Since then, senior vice president of content Andy Forssell has been leading the firm on an interim basis. Reports earlier this month claimed that Hopkins, NBCUniversal executive vice president Lauren Zalaznick and Intel Media’s corporate vice president and general manager Erik Huggers had all expressed interest in the Hulu top job.

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