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News Corp. Taps Fox Kids’ Exec

In a first step toward consolidating its children’s programming, News Corp. named Margaret Loesch vice chairman of Fox Kids Worldwide, which includes Fox Kids Network, Saban Entertainment and newly acquired International Family Entertainment.

Loesch, the architect of the powerful block of children’s programming that runs on the Fox Broadcasting Co. weekdays and Saturdays under the Fox Kids Network banner, will report to Haim Saban, chairman and chief executive of the group.

Loesch is credited with building the Fox Kids Network into a healthy competitor in the children’s marketplace. Although Viacom’s Nickelodeon surpassed Fox Kids Network in advertising revenue, Fox is the top-rated programmer for children on a broadcast network. Its recent purchase of IFE’s Family Channel for $1.9 billion will give News Corp. its first 24-hour vehicle for children.

News Corp. said Saban will take a more active role in managing day-to-day operations of the group. Loesch will concentrate on long-term strategies.

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