As part of its attempt to refocus its programming strategy
and boost its ratings, Fox Family Channel hired Rob Sorcher away from Cartoon Network,
naming him to the newly created position of executive vice president of programming and
development, officials said last week.
Effective June 1, Sorcher will oversee all of Fox
Family's original programming, including primetime scripted and reality series,
specials, movies and all daytime kids' shows. Sorcher will report to Fox Family
president Rich Cronin.
"Rob is here to help us focus our programming strategy
and create hits," Cronin said.
Joel Andryc, Fox Family's senior vice president of
children's programming and development, and Eytan Keller, the network's senior
vice president of reality programming, will now report to Sorcher.
Lance Robbins, recently promoted to the slot of president
of Fox Family Television Studios, will remain the network's primary supplier of
original movies and other fare.
"We really felt that we needed a single head of
programming," Cronin said. "It's a problem to have programming spread over
several people. We need to have a consistent programming strategy and creative direction.
Haim [Saban, chairman of Fox Family Worldwide] and I will be very much involved, but we
have a lot other things on our plate."
Sorcher is joining Fox Family from Cartoon, where he has
served as executive vice president since October 1997. He joined Cartoon in August 1995 as
senior vice president and general manager.
Sorcher, who oversaw a staff of 150, was Cartoon head of
content development. He is credited with being a driving force behind Cartoon's
commitment to original series, playing a role in the creation of Ed, Edd 'n Eddy,
The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Laboratory, Johnny Bravo and Cow
Cartoon's distribution and its ratings have both been
on a steady rise.
Sorcher said he enjoyed his tenure at Cartoon, but he
welcomed the opportunity to truly focus on the creative side of the business at Fox Family
-- a big network that he conceded was operating in "a very competitive arena."
But, he added, "The goal is still a hit."
Cronin recently announced that Fox Family, which relaunched
last summer, will basically scrap its kids'-oriented primetime lineup this fall and
replace it with adult-targeted fare.
Cartoon said it has started to search for a replacement for