Tubi founder steps down as Fox forms new division for digital business

Fox has formed a new division that will house free ad-supported service Tubi and its other standalone digital businesses. With the restructuring comes the departure of Tubi Founder and CEO Farhad Massoudi.

Paul Cheesbrough, who previously served as Fox’s president of Digital and chief technology officer, has been named CEO of the newly created Tubi Media Group. He oversaw the company’s acquisition of Tubi in 2020.

Massoudi will remain CEO through the end of June, until Fox announces a new CEO for Tubi Streaming. He founded Tubi (then known as AdRise) in 2010, before launching the free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) service in 2014.

In addition to Tubi, Cheesbrough will oversee Fox-owned Credible Labs, Blockchain Creative Labs as well as Fox’s digital platforms across news, sports and entertainment.

According to Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch, Tubi is a “cornerstone” in Fox’s streaming strategy and the platform “is now the clear market leader in AVOD in the U.S.”

Tubi in February reached 64 million monthly active users, with Fox noting users streamed more than 5 billion hours of content in 2022. One month later, Nielsen’s The Gauge reported Tubi crossed the 1% threshold of overall U.S. TV viewership.

“Building off this momentum, and complementing the strong growth being driven in our company-wide digital revenues, now is the right time to bring these efforts together into a new business unit, which will be tasked with spearheading our digital expansion and partnering with our brands to drive continued growth,” stated Murdoch.

Content-wise, Tubi earlier this year inked a FAST deal with Warner Bros. Discovery, adding hundreds of WBD-owned movies and TV shows to its platform. The distribution agreement included WBD’s first branded linear FAST channels.

Overall, Tubi boasts a roster of over 200 local and live news and sports channels along with an on-demand library of more than 50,000 movies and shows with 455 entertainment partners.

The FAST service is also putting in work in the advertising industry, as Tubi in March hosted Tubi Connect, its first-ever advertising conference. At that time, Tubi announced partnerships with Comscore, LiveRamp and VideoAmp to bolster alternative audience measurement on the platform.

“It has been an incredible three years since the acquisition of Tubi, leading to its great success within the Fox family,” said Massoudi in a statement, adding he is leaving Tubi “in the best shape it has ever been.”

Fox is scheduled to post its third quarter fiscal 2023 results on May 6, at which time the company will likely divulge more information on its strategy for Tubi.