20th Century Fox Television’s Howard Kurtzman Set to Retire


Howard Kurtzman, president of business operations for 20th Century Fox Television and head of business and legal affairs for over two decades, will step down in June, and Carolyn Cassidy will be named the company’s sole president.

Kurtzman has served in his current role since 2014, when he was partnered with Jonnie Davis. During their tenure, the pair oversaw Dan Fogelman’s critically acclaimed This Is Us, the number one scripted series on broadcast television. When Davis was named president of ABC Studios last summer, Kurtzman stayed on to partner with the newly named President of Creative Affairs Carolyn Cassidy and has recently closed overall deals with Fogelman, Liz Meriwether, Steve Levitan, Lizzie and Wendy Molyneux, Saladin Patterson and Kay Oyegun, among others.

Prior to being named president, he served as executive VP of business and legal affairs, running those two teams for more than two decades.

“Two years ago, Howard came to Gary Newman and me to say he had decided it was time to retire,” said Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment Chairman Dana Walden. “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 said, “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.”

Kurtzman added, “20th has been much more than my employer for all these years. It’s also been an incredibly vibrant and exciting place to work, where we accomplished so many great things together, from Modern Family to Family Guy, Glee, 24 and most recently This Is Us, to name only a few. Those close to me know that I have been talking about stepping down for quite some time, and I am so grateful to Dana and Craig for their generosity through this process. This career has been an incredible ride—an E-ticket ride, in fact.”