President of Business Operations for 20th Century Fox TV Howard Kurtzman to Retire in June

Howard Kurtzman, the President of Business Operations for 20th Century Fox Television and head of business and legal affairs for over two decades has announced his plans to retire in June, according to Deadline.

  • Carolyn Cassidy, 20th Century Fox TV’s President of Creative Affairs, will be named President of 20th Century Fox TV when Kurtzman steps away.
  • A new head of business affairs will also be named and will report to Cassidy.
  • Kurtzman has served as president of Business Operations for 20th Century Fox TV since 2014.
  • Prior to that, Kurtzman served as EVP, Business and Legal Affairs for Fox TV, where he ran the business affairs and legal affairs teams for more than two decades.
  • During his tenure, the studio produces a number of hit shows, including:
    • Glee
    • Family Guy
    • Bob’s Burgers
    • This Is Us
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • The Simpsons

What they’re saying:

  • Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment Chairwoman Dana Walden: “Two years ago, Howard came to Gary Newman and me to say he had decided it was time to retire. We begged him to stay for a year, as we were not ready to consider what the studio would look like without his leadership. One year later, Craig and I asked (begged) him to postpone his retirement by yet another year — this time to help coordinate the integration of 20th Century Fox Television into The Walt Disney Company — and he graciously agreed. Howard is an extraordinary leader, strategist, colleague and friend. Working with him has been one of the true highlights of my career and that is a sentiment which is shared by every executive, creator and representative who has interacted with him over the past three decades.”
  • Disney Television Studios President Craig Hunegs: “Howard is a hall of fame TV executive who has been responsible for some of the most impressive and groundbreaking deals in the business. He’s a great leader and mentor and we’ll miss his terrific sense of humor.”

Thank you note from Kurtzman to staff:

Dear colleagues,

As you’ve heard that with Dana and Craig’s blessing and my deepest gratitude, I will be setting my retirement date for this June. Many of you know this is something I’ve been looking forward to for a while, and now I feel the time is right.

20th has been much more than my employer for all these years, it has been my home. So many of you have become family members, both literally and in every other sense. Of course I met Sharon here, and Dana and Gary, Jennifer and Bert, and so many others who became not only terrific bosses and trusted colleagues but also my most treasured friends.

We’ve had such a run together, from “Modern Family” to “Family Guy,” “Glee,” “24” and most recently “This Is Us” to name only a very few. What an incredible ride! We are all lucky to be working in this golden age of television together, and I am especially grateful to have shared this time with you, the best executives, colleagues and friends in the business.

I am especially grateful to Dana and Craig for their generosity and support, and to Jonnie and Carolyn, two of the best partners I could have wished for.

As for me, I just want everyone to know that while I may be leaving a job that has nourished me these many years, I am really looking forward to retirement. We all have lists of things we’d like to do or try if only we had the time, and I am lucky to have the luxury of tackling a few of mine.

My departure date is still months away, so this is not “goodbye.” More a “thank you,” and a moment to say that I truly believe the best is yet to come, for all of us.