Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Rupert Murdoch's eldest son to run downsized 21st Century Fox

Rupert Murdoch's eldest son to run downsized 21st Century Fox

Their father, Rupert Murdoch, will assume the title of co-chairman of the company, while John Nallen, now 21st Century Fox's chief financial officer, will take a bigger role as chief operating officer.

Fox agreed a year ago to sell the bulk of its film and TV assets to Walt Disney in a US$52.4 billion deal. But the matter may not be settled.

After the completion of 21st Century Fox's sell-off to Walt Disney, Lachlan Murdoch will replace his younger brother James as CEO of the remaining business.

Further complicating matters U.S. media company Comcast launched its own £22bn for Sky in April, which caused Sky to withdraw its recommendation to its shareholders to accept the previous Fox offer. He's expected to move on after the deal with Disney is completed, pursuing his interests in areas such as technology investments. It looks to become a leaner business focused on Fox News, cable sports networks and local TV.

While it is not yet set in stone, Walt Disney agreed last December to purchase 21st Century Fox's film, television and global assets for $US52.4 billion in stock, and would assume $13.7 billion in debt. The future of his vast holdings has been a source of longstanding debate within the industry.

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"The strengths of the new company, a leader in News, Sports and Entertainment, present truly unique opportunities", said Lachlan Murdoch, who has served as executive chairman of Fox since 2015.

According to the announcement, Fox chief financial officer John Nallen will take on the role of chief operating officer as a result of the transaction.

During a recent sit-down with Collider, Deadpool himself commented on the Disney-Fox deal, saying - at least from his perspective - although he hasn't heard anything new, the potential acquisition of Fox, whether it be by Disney or Comcast, hasn't affected anything regarding development and plans.

James Murdoch now serves as chairman of Sky PLC, where he was earlier forced out for four years after a phone-hacking scandal. The 46-year-old previously served as co-chairman and held various roles within his father's empire, including chairman of Fox TV stations and publisher of the New York Post.

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