14th Annual Signature Fundraising Event
Taste for a Cure
Friday, May 1, 2009
Beverly Wilshire Hotel
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2009 Gil Nickel Humanitarian Award Recipients
Gary Newman and Dana Walden
Gary Newman and Dana Walden serve as chairmen of Twentieth Century Fox Television and have overseen the studio’s operations since December 1999. Under their tenure, TCFTV has delivered hits to virtually every television network, including “24,” “My Name is Earl,” “The Simpsons,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Family Guy” and “Bones” to name just a few, and has maintained its status as the undisputed industry leader in producing animated comedies for prime time, with five animated hits currently in production on new episodes and two more scheduled to premiere later this year. Walden and Newman oversee the studio’s enormously successful worldwide licensing and merchandising division, as well as the licensing and merchandising efforts for the properties of Fox Film, Fox Sports and a number of third party product including the crown jewel property of Microsoft Game Studios, “Halo.”
In the fall of 2002, they pioneered the now common industry practice of releasing television series on DVD immediately following each broadcast season, a revolutionary idea which helped propel the Fox drama “24” to blockbuster status in its second year on the air. Newman and Walden recently created a new dedicated animation department and partnered with Fox Broadcasting Company on an aggressive initiative entitled “Fox Inkubation” – a significant investment of resources aimed at continuing FOX’s animation domination and finding the next cartoon blockbuster. They have forged an international programming and development alliance with ITV, Britain’s leading commercial television producer and network, in which the two companies will develop and produce new properties as well as mine each other’s library of existing franchises for potential series formats for their home territories.
Walden and Newman have also been at the vanguard of
developing new production models, creating fox21 in 2004, a production house aimed at creating creatively adventurous scripted fare for the cable television market, as well as unscripted projects for all the networks. They also launched the first studio mobile entertainment unit which originated the mobile phone series with 24:CONSPIRACY and has gone on to produce a wide range of innovative content based on the studio’s hit franchises for the worldwide wireless market.
A studio veteran, Walden had last served as the studio’s Executive Vice President of Drama, overseeing development and programming of the company’s hour-long network television series. Her slate of programming consistently rated at the top of critics’ lists and ranked first in Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominations. Walden joined the creative department in 1994 as Vice President of Current Programming. She previously held the position of Senior Vice President, Media and Corporate Relations for both Twentieth Television and Twentieth Century Fox Television. She began her career at the public relations firm Bender, Goldman & Helper, where she last served as Vice President of the company's Consumer Television Division. A graduate of the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Communications, she resides in Los Angeles with her husband, Matt Walden, and their two daughters.
Newman had last served as the studio’s Executive Vice President and top ranking business officer, and was instrumental in building TCFTV into a leading supplier of programming. He also worked closely with Twentieth Century Fox International Television, Twentieth Television (Fox’s domestic syndication unit) and FOX Home Entertainment to develop strategies for worldwide distribution of its product. Prior to joining the studio, Newman served for six years as an executive in the Business Affairs department of NBC, initially as manager and ultimately rising to vice president. Before NBC, Newman was a member of the legal department of Columbia Pictures Television and an associate with Lillick, McHose & Charles. Newman received his J.D. from USC Law Center and his B.A. from Yale University. Recently, he and his wife Jeanne, a prominent Los Angeles entertainment attorney, founded Jorian Hill, a sustainably farmed vineyard and winery in Santa Barbara County's Santa Ynez Valley, producing boutique Rhone wines including Syrah, Viognier and Grenache varietals. They live in Brentwood with their children, Jordan, Hillary and Reid.
Active philanthropists, Newman and Walden have been honored by the Los Angeles Free Clinic, serve on the board of Chrysalis, a homeless relief organization, and were awarded the Legal Aid Foundation’s “Access to Justice” award. Walden also sits on the Board of Directors for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo and the Los Angeles Free Clinic, and is on the Executive Committee of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Newman is a member of the Los Angeles Board of Governors of the Paley Center for Media and currently serves on the boards of the Hollywood Radio & Television Society, the Jewish Television Network and the Windward School.