May 29, 1951
Executive, Book editor, Publicity director at publishing house
Peter Chernin entered the entertainment industry from the world of publishing, where he was a publicist at St. Martin's Press and an editor at Warner Books. He became an executive at the David Gerber Company, where he oversaw the production of over 100 hours of network TV. Chernin then moved to Showtime/The Movie Channel, where, during his tenure in the mid-1980s, he supervised the development of such original series programming as "Brothers", "It's Garry Shandling's Show" and the second TV version of "The Paper Chase."
Becoming president and COO at Lorimar brought Chernin experience with feature film work, including "Dangerous Liaisons", "Action Jackson" and "Running on Empty" (all 1988) and "See You in the Morning" (1989). In 1989, he assumed the post of president of Fox Broadcasting's Entertainment Group, which helped develop such TV hits as "The Simpsons", "Beverly Hills 90210", "Roc" and "In Living Color."
When Joe Roth resigned to start up an independent production company in 1992, Chernin was appointed Chairman of Fox; he soon moved to Fox's movie division, leaving its network in the hands of Lucie Salhany and Sandy Grushow. While with the TV division, Chernin was aggressive in expanding the news and sports coverage. Known in the industry as "amiable and reserved," he oversaw such box-office hits as "Mrs. Doubtfire" (1993), "Speed" and "True Lies" (both 1994), "Braveheart", "To Die For" and "Waiting to Exhale" (all 1995), "Broken Arrow" and "Independence Day" (both 1996), as well as the usual number of failures. Chernin also helped the studio launch such new divisions as Fox 2000, Fox Family Films and Fox Searchlight, and was known for wooing top directors for studio projects.
In 1996, Rupert Murdoch named him president and co-COO (with Chase Carey) of News Corporation, the parent company of Fox.