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Fox veteran Hill exiting to create prodco

21st Century Fox is saying goodbye to senior programming executive David Hill after more than three decades.

David HillHill, currently senior executive VP at the US-based media giant, is leaving to launch a production venture titled Hilly, which will focus on live production, reality series, production consultancy to organisations and digital investment.

Hill is an institution at Fox, where counts on his CV credits such as co-founding Sky Television (now Sky), the US Fox network and Fox’s regional sports channels business.

His exit closely follows the announcement James Murdoch would succeed his father Rupert Murdoch as CEO of 21st Century Fox next month.

“David is a dynamic and imaginative leader who has changed the experience of nearly all major sports on three continents,” said Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO, 21st Century Fox.

“Whether it was launching Sky Television, the Fox Network, Fox Sports, or the Regional Sports Networks, we owe him an enormous debt for his nearly thirty years of contributions.”

Hill joined Fox from Australia’s Nine Network in 1988. Besides Sky and Fox, he was also instrumental in the creation of Eurosport and Sky Sports. He was also president, entertainment at DirecTV and chairman of National Geographic Channels, and an executive producer on the final tow seasons of American Idol, which ends after the next run.

“Of all the fun parts, the proudest was running the Fox Network in the late Nineties,” he said. “When I was given responsibility, it lagged in a pitiful fourth place. Working with Peter Roth, Mike Darnell, and a group of fearless television warriors, we took it to number 2 by .1 behind NBC by 1999.”

“I believe the future of the broadcast networks lies in big, spectacular live events,” he added. “As I’ve spent most of my life producing those, I think I can give some added value. In a funny way, this is like finishing my apprenticeship.”