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21st Century Fox promotes Peter Rice to president

Peter Rice has capped his steady ascent through the ranks of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire with a new title: president of 21st Century Fox.

The entertainment giant said Wednesday that Rice will take on the newly created role of president while keeping his job as chairman and chief executive of Fox Networks Group, a position he’s held since 2012.

His promotion doesn’t significantly alter the reporting structure of Fox’s movie studio. Stacey Snider, who is chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox Film, will continue to report directly to Murdoch’s sons, Lachlan and James Murdoch.

“Peter has driven exceptional growth at Fox Networks Group during a time of real transformational change in the business, expanding our audiences and innovating new distribution models,” the brothers said in a joint statement.

As head of Fox Network Groups, Rice oversees such channels as FX, Fox Sports and National Geographic Channel, as well as Fox Broadcasting Co. He led the expansion of FX into a three-network suite — including FXX and the FX Movie Channel — and the launch of the FS1 and FS2 sports channels.

The Fox News Channel will continue to report directly to Rupert Murdoch.

Before joining the company’s TV side, the British-born Rice served as president of Fox Searchlight Pictures, the company’s specialty film label, where he oversaw the releases of numerous indie-flavored Oscar winners, including “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Sideways” and “Little Miss Sunshine.”

david.ng@latimes.com

@DavidNgLAT

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