The landmark deal between The Walt Disney Company and 20th Century Fox officially became finalized this week, resulting in a massive shift to the entertainment industry as we know it. Unfortunately, the deal has already resulted in a wave of layoffs -- including one prominent face in Fox's television world.
Greg Meidel, the president of Twentieth Television, is among the first departures in the wake of the deal, according to a new report from Deadline. He is reportedly the first high-level TV layoff.
Meidel had been serving within the Fox world quite a lot over the years, initially serving as the President of Twentieth TV from 1992 to 1995. He then returned to the company as the President of MyNetwork TV in 2009, and has been serving in the top job at Twentieth TV since 2009. Meidel oversaw both the distribution business for Fox TV (which is now being handled by Disney), as well as MyNetworkTV, which has stayed behind at "New Fox".
Meidel is responsible for some pretty major syndication deals amongst the company, such as FX's massive deal with The Simpsons, as well as high-profile partnerships around Family Guy, Bob's Burgers, and Modern Family.
Meidel's exit comes as the FOX network has already begun branding itself as a separate entity from the Disney deal. Even then, FOX will continue to air content that is now being produced by the Disney side of things, including iconic shows like The Simpsons.
"Simpsons is so much a part of the brand," FOX CEO Dana Walden said last August. "There's been such an incredible halo effect of that show and the other animated series that are on our Sunday night. There are no plans for them to go anywhere other than FOX. We have a couple years of episodes already in progress on The Simpsons. So down the line, what kind of decision is made I can't really speak to. But for the foreseeable future, there's so much upside and benefit to having a great Emmy Award winning, smart, provocative, quality show, that there's no consideration of not ordering more Simpsons."
Disney Chairman Bob Iger issued a statement in the wake of the acquisition being finalized, looking forward to the future.
"This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us -- one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders," Iger said. "Combining Disney's and 21st Century Fox's wealth of creative content and proven talent creates the preeminent global entertainment company, well positioned to lead in an incredibly dynamic and transformative era."0comments