Biard Gains Responsibility in Fox Networks Distribution Restructuring

Mike Hopkins, Fox Networks Distribution president, has restructured his group's operations, giving Michael Biard, executive VP, additional responsibilities and hiring two new execs.

Biard currently oversees distribution of Fox Networks' 43 domestic programming services by all of the major cable, satellite and telco operators, directing the business strategy and negotiations with the major distributors. In his new role he will have direct supervisory responsibility for distribution of the Fox services on all linear and non-linear platforms.

In the new structure, Julie Simon, senior VP of advanced services, will report to Biard. Steve Carcano is joining the company as senior VP, national accounts, reporting to Biard. Kris Nielsen-Refs will become Fox Networks' new VP, digital distribution, reporting to Simon.

"Mike is one of the most dynamic executives in television," Hopkins said in a statement. "With the industry changing at such a rapid pace, non-linear platforms and authenticated product have become far more significant growth drivers for our business, and I am pleased he will be working with Julie to push those initiatives to greater profitability." 

Hopkins said Simon and her Advanced Services team "have successfully launched many products in the last year (the newly-authenticated, Fox VOD, BTN2Go, SPEED2 and the Fox Soccer Plus bundle to name a few) with many more to come in the first two quarters of the new year. Julie's role will expand to cover greater responsibility for digital distribution across all platforms."

Carcano joins from Lifetime Networks, where he spent nine years as senior VP, distribution.  He also spent the last year as founder of Metroclips, LLC, a business incubator that launched four new e-businesses. In his new role, he will work closely with Biard and the team on all business strategies and negotiations with the major cable, satellite and telco distributors. He will also be responsible for supervising all national accounts.

Nielsen-Refs joins the company from Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta, where he served as director, business development and multi-platform distribution. He will be responsible for distribution of Fox Networks' content on non-linear platforms.