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Fox hires ex-CNBC chief in Africa rejig

Gary Alfonso

Gary Alfonso

Fox Networks Group has hired a former senior CNBC executive to become general manager of a restructured African operation.

Gary Alfonso will lead FNG Africa,taking control of sub-Sahara operations for the broadcast group and sister business National Geographic Partners.

In Africa, FNG operates pay TV networks Fox, FX, FoxCrime, Fox Sports, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Gold and BabyTV.

Nami Patel and Makhosazana Khanyile have also landed senior roles in a rejigged FNG operation, Patel is promoted from VP, business development, Europe and Africa, to CFO, UK and Africa, while FNG Africa marketing head Khanyile has been named director of sales and marketing.

New chief Alfonso has worked in broadcasting for almost three decades. He joins from Nigeria-based broadcaster Gotel Communications, where he was COO, and was previously managing director of CNBC Africa and GM of Summit TV.

“Our genre defining brands are market leaders in Africa, delivering year on year growth over the past three years,” said Adam Theiler, FNG’s executive VP, Nordics, Turkey, Greece, Israel and Africa.

“Gary’s 29 years of leading industry experience will continue to drive our success, evolving our businesses to meet the changing media landscape as we bring the best in entertainment, factual and sports programming to audiences across the continent.”

Alfonso, who will report to Theiler, said: “Working with the highly talented team in the FNG Africa office, I look forward to helping the business increase its regional footprint, in a challenging and dynamic media environment.”

The news comes soon after Theiler tweaked FNG management in Turkey, promoting Cenk Soner and Mehmet Icagasioglu to new top-level positions.

It is also the latest change at FNG Europe and Africa, which came into being in January with the 21st Century Fox-owned networks business dropped its Fox International Channels moniker and said goodbye to long-serving international chief Hernan Lopez in the process.