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Mr. Chao is an expert at getting attention, but it will be difficult to top some of his previous stunts. Once, during a party at Mr. Murdoch’s home, Mr. Chao nearly drowned his host’s purebred puppy after throwing it in a swimming pool to see if it could swim. Mr. Chao then had to jump into the pool, while in a business suit, to save it.
After parting ways with Fox, Mr. Chao spent six weeks working at a McDonald’s in Redondo Beach, Calif. He went on to head programming for USA Networks, where he helped develop the popular series “Monk.” But a fiery relationship with Mr. Diller, the head of the network, overshadowed that experience. The two executives had a hard time living down an incident when both were at Fox in which Mr. Diller hurled a videocassette at Mr. Chao with such intensity that it created a hole in the wall. Mr. Chao framed that section of the wall.