Fox Sports chairman David Hill, who has spent much of his time in Washington, D.C. recently overseeing News Corp’s interest in the domestic National Geographic Channels, will return to focus on Fox Sports.
While Fox Sports declined to comment, multiple sources said the move was urged by News Corp president, COO and deputy chairman Chase Carey, as Hill and the National Geographic execs were never a great fit.
Hill’s original move to get involved in Nat Geo was never formalized (he does and is expected to continue to sit on its board), so there is expected to be no formal announcement about his shifting priorities back to the sports world.
Additionally, he was hardly completely pulled off of sports, as he led the delegation in Switzerland for News Corp’s recent Olympic bid (the package went to Comcast).
While it was announced today that News Corp veteran David Lyle will take over as CEO of the National Geographic Channels U.S., those moves are not said to be cause and effect, as the company had been searching for someone to fill that role since David Haslington was moved to the United States.
To be sure, there is plenty of work to keep the sports division busy with the NFL lockout lifted, the MLB playoffs approaching and Fox Sports continuing to review its options on the cable side, from expanding the sports presence on cable network FX to the oft-bandied-about launch of a new national sports network.