Bruce Steinberg, chairman and chief executive of Fox Kids Europe, is leaving the Disney-owned children's cable channel some six months before his two-year contract is up and without serving his six-month notice period.
Steinberg achieved a 14% increase in channel revenues to $215m last year, topping that with a 17% increase to $87.5m in the half-year to March 31, with half-year profits up more than six-fold at $9.6m year on year. It is a financially successful record that has left the industry speculating as to the reasons for his departure.
One cause may be that the one-time BSkyB executive has already completed the task of integrating the channel into the Walt Disney group following its acquisition and finished the European rollout of the channel's new brand identity, Jetix.
The Financial Times also reported the view of an unnamed source that Steinberg was seen as "too independent-minded" by Disney. Steinberg himself was unavailable for comment.
Based in the Netherlands, Fox Kids Europe is 76% owned by the Walt Disney group, with a programming portfolio that includes Power Rangers and Sonic X. Paul Taylor, the managing director and executive vice-president, will assume Steinberg's duties on an interim basis.
Lovelacemedia | 13.07.2004