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Grushow Gets Programming Job at Fox TV

December 01, 1992|JOHN LIPPMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

After nearly a month of delay, Sandy Grushow on Monday was named president of Fox Entertainment Group, the programming arm of the upstart TV network.

Grushow, 32, succeeds Peter Chernin, who earlier this month became chairman of Fox's motion picture division.

Grushow had been executive vice president, overseeing production of the network's prime-time programs, as well as scheduling and marketing.

In naming Grushow, Fox has turned to someone who is not much older than the network's target 20-something audience. Grushow graduated from UCLA in 1983 and is credited with launching the network's popular teen-age soap opera, "Beverly Hills 90210."

Sources say Grushow was offered the job days after Chernin was promoted to the movie division by Fox Inc. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, but turned it down because he believed that the higher salary--he is already estimated to earn more than $500,000 annually--wasn't worth the added pressure.

Fox reportedly sounded out other candidates for the job, including Chris Albrecht, president of HBO Independent Productions, Lorimar TV President Leslie Moonves and William Morris Agency TV department head Bob Cristani.

But several weeks later, Grushow reconsidered. Grushow said he wanted "to make sure it was in the best interest of Sandy Grushow and, when I did, I took the job."

Grushow has been running Fox's programming department for the last month.

Grushow, who earned a reputation as a marketing whiz at Fox, takes charge of programming at a crucial time. The 5-year-old network must regain some of the ratings momentum it has lost this season to ABC, which has gained viewers among the 18- to 49-year-old audience.

Furthermore, Grushow must oversee the rollout of the network's seventh night of programming, which begins in January with "The Class of '96" and "Key West."

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