As 21st Century Fox prepares to sell off most of its assets to the Walt Disney Company, its future is coming into focus. Rupert Murdoch’s media giant has firmed up how much of its executive roster will look, post-merger, and on Tuesday announced that those properties left behind in the merger will simply be known as “Fox.”
Lachlan Murdoch will serve as the chairman and CEO of this Fox, overseeing a portfolio that includes Fox Sports, Fox Broadcasting Network, Fox News and the Fox Business Network. Major appointments announced at this time include:
— Eric Shanks, elevated to CEO of Fox Sports from his current role of president, COO and executive producer, Fox Sports
— Mike Biard, elevated to president, operations and distribution for Fox from president, distribution for Fox Networks Group
— Paul Cheesbrough, promoted to chief technology officer and head of direct to consumer platforms for Fox; currently serves as 21CF’s chief technology officer
— Marianne Gambelli, elevated to president of ad sales for Fox; currently serves as president of ad sales for Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network
— Steve Tomsic, promoted to Fox’s CFO; currently serves as 21CF’s executive vp, finance and deputy CFO
All appointments will be effective on the close of 21st Century Fox’s Disney transaction and the creation of Fox.
It is also assumed that the broadcast flagship will continue to be run, at least for the time being, by Gary Newman, currently co-CEO and co-chairman of the soon-defunct Fox TV Group. Newman’s longtime counterpart Dana Walden, as well as boss Peter Rice, are absent from the new roster as both are expected to be making the move to The Walt Disney Company.
“We are fortunate to be able to continue working with these enormously talented executives who have helped make our businesses the incredible successes they are today,” said Lachlan Murdoch. “Collectively they bring to Fox the vision, entrepreneurial spirit and proven track records to position Fox to seize future opportunities for its leading and deeply resonant brands across sports, news and entertainment.”
The new 21st Century Fox’s entertainment efforts will be a shell of its former self. Disney agreed to pay $71.3 billion for all of the company’s entertainment assets, including the thriving TV studio, the feature film operation and cable properties FX Networks and National Geographic Channels. The deal is expected to close in 2019.
Previous announcements included that John Nallen will be appointed COO of Fox, Suzanne Scott will continue to serve as CEO of Fox News and Fox Business Network, while Jack Abernethy is to remain CEO of Fox Television Stations. (Viet Dinh was recently named the chief legal and policy officer of Fox.)
As for Disney, the company has yet to announce its new executive structure — and how it’s incorporating incoming brass.