This morning, FOX announced its new primetime series for the 2016-17 season, which included a historic slate of original programming for the network. Tonight, Toby Byrne, President of Advertising Sales for Fox Networks Group, will address an audience of about 2,500 people at the 2016 FOX upfront programming presentation at the Beacon Theater in New York, which will include advertisers, Fox executives and others. I spoke with Toby before he takes the stage to hear his thoughts on how the upfront season has changed recently, the move toward data and technology in advertising, and what he hopes advertisers will walk away with after tonight.


A lot goes into planning a memorable Fox Networks Group Programming Presentation and Post-Party in New York City each year. To get a behind-the-scenes look at what, exactly, is involved in throwing a spectacular upfront event, I spoke with Tomiko Iwata, SVP of Creative Services for Fox Broadcasting, who counts 18 years as part of the team spearheading FOX’s big event.

The Simpsons live

On Sunday, May 15, “The Simpsons” will treat audiences to a live, three-minute Q&A session with none other than Homer J. Simpson. Thanks to the advances in motion capture technology, Dan Castellaneta will answer questions from live callers in the form of Homer, the character to whom he lends his voice. The event, the first of its kind, will happen at the end of the new episode, which is titled “Simprovised” and aptly focuses on a storyline in which Homer turns to improv comedy to regain his confidence after a botched speech at work.

From left to right: Angeli Gabriel (National Geographic’s Snapchat Quiz), Richard Bacon ("Explorer"), Bertie Gregory ("Wild_Life with Bertie Gregory"), Declan Moore (National Geographic Partners CEO), John Campbell (National Geographic Partners Senior Vice President of Global Media), Anand Varma ("Invisible"), Claudia Malley (National Geographic Partners Chief Marketing & Brand Officer), Jason Silva ("Brain Games"/"Origins"), Ami Vitale (Nat Geo photographer)

National Geographic Partners made a splash earlier this week with a number of exciting announcements at its first NewFronts event since the formation of the expanded joint venture between 21st Century Fox and the National Geographic Society. The 2016-17 slate, which includes 10 new digital short series and an Instagram video series, highlights National Geographic’s ability to tell compelling multiplatform stories.


Last week, 21st Century Fox announced its fiscal Q3 2016 financial results. Afterward, the company held an earnings call featuring Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch, CEO James Murdoch and CFO John Nallen. The call was an opportunity for 21CF to discuss the role it is playing in reimagining how consumers experience television, as well as opportunities to make its content more widely available. It was also a chance to confirm its plans to participate in a new live and on-demand video service from Hulu.


21st Century Fox today reported financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2016.

Hulu 2016 upfront
Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins offers his opening remarks for the 2016 Hulu upfront presentation.

In front of a packed house at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York Wednesday morning, Hulu used its 2016 upfront event to address reports that it will soon stream live television content. The video streaming service also announced the renewals of “The Mindy Project” and “The Path” at the upfront and offered a sneak peek at forthcoming content, including a Beatles documentary.

Social Impact

21st Century Fox has announced a contribution of more than $125,000 to the Malala Fund, an organization advocating for secondary girls' education around the world. The gift consists of funds raised through a company-wide employee matching program, as well as a social media campaign led by 21CF and the National Geographic Channel, and will help provide education for Syrian refugee children.


The Musée Miniature et Cinéma in Lyon, France has been featuring Wes Anderson films in an exhibition ending May 31. Currently on display has been “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures in 2014) model from the film as well as “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (distributed and produced by 20th Century Fox in 2009) puppets. To celebrate the exhibition, below are some storyboards and concept art from “Fantastic Mr. Fox” pulled from the Fox Archives.

Photo credit: Geoff Mau
Ford Cochran, director of programming at National Geographic Expeditions
Social Impact

As part of 21st Century Fox's Earth Day celebrations, Fox colleagues in LA were treated to a special presentation by Ford Cochran, renowned geologist, journalist, educator and director of programming at National Geographic Expeditions.