David Hill, News Corp.'s senior executive VP, has been tapped to oversee both American Idol and The X Factor while Fox searches for a permanent replacement for reality chief Mike Darnell, the network confirmed.
Last month Darnell announced his intentions to step down at the end of his current contract, which is up after this month.
Hill is known better for his work with Fox Sports -- he was CEO of the division from 1999 until last summer. He is also leading the launch efforts of the upcoming Fox Sports 1 cable network, which debuts in August. Hill's experience in negotiating sports rights deals and handling major live events were likely factors in being chosen.
Following Darnell's departure, Fox will move to a more traditional network/producer relationship with their two high-profile properties, with Hill serving as the network's point person for the producers. Darnell's replacement will focus on development when hired.
American Idol, after seeing ratings fall double-digits this season, is currently undergoing another revamp at its judges table, with Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj all departing; Keith Urban's status is up in the air. Executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick have also been reported to be out as well.
The X Factor, whose ratings have not lived up to its grandiose expectations, will also see two new judges in Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio.
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