Fox announced tonight that Fox Interactive Media President Ross Levinsohn will be replaced effective November 27th. Peter Levinsohn, who is Ross Levinsohn’s cousin, has served as President of Digital Media for the Fox Entertainment Group.
Ross launched Fox Interactive Media in July of last year, nearly simultaneously with the Fox acquisition of Intermix, MySpace’s parent company. He is arguably the most high profile player there is in the consumer web acquisition scene. In tonight’s press release the company wrote:
Peter Levinsohn has negotiated innovative deals that have made Fox content ubiquitous across all available digital platforms. He was a key architect in the groundbreaking digital revenue sharing agreement with Fox affiliates and also led the FOX on Demand effort, which brought primetime series to the Internet on an ad supported basis through MySpace.com and the MyFoxLocal web sites. Additionally, he’s headed Fox’s development of the VOD business and electronic sell-through for film and television product, including recent deals with iTunes, Amazon, AOL, MSN, MovieLink, and CinemaNow.
Ross Levinsohn, in a conversation with Michael Arrington at an Under the Radar event in March, said that Fox had earmarked a further $2 billion for future acquisitions. (Grainy pic on right from Ross Levinsohn’s MySpace page, if you’ll forgive us the indulgence.) He said at that event that he expected to acquire another five companies in the near future. In April the company announced two small acquisitions, unlaunched news aggregator Newroo and web karaoke service kSolo.
It’s been a big day for executive shake-ups. Jason Calacanis’s resignation from AOL represents the departure of a dynamic and controversial entrepreneur from an unsettled old media conglomerate; Ross Levinsohn leaving his position at FIM marks the departure of one of the key players in bringing innovators into the fold of one of the world’s largest media companies. These may be isolated moves that signify no grand themes; or they may signal a change in the always ambivalent relationship between the agile, entrepreneurial nature of the Web 2.0 world and large, established corporate players. Two of the biggest players in facilitating the connection between entrepreneurs and big companies are leaving their jobs. It’s probably too early to tell what it means if anything, but it’s interesting to think about. We’ll have more on this in the future.