DirecTV CEO may return to News Corp.

Chernin exit could create new role for Chase Carey

Longtime News Corp. exec and current DirectTV president-CEO Chase Carey may be returning to Rupert Murdoch’s conglomerate to essentially pick up some of the management slack from departing president-COO Peter Chernin.

Despite having reshuffled and boosted the portfolios of the top film and TV echelon at Fox in the wake of Chernin’s announced departure three months ago, Murdoch has, according to first reports in The, apparently found his old colleague willing to exit the John Malone-backed satellite service and take a vice chairman post at News Corp., while remaining based in New York.

Such a move suggests that Murdoch never really intended long-term to have Chernin’s16 lieutenants report directly to him, and that there are simply too many corporate, global and financial issues to handle on his own. Two sources close to New Corp. said the talks were indeed “serious” and that the approach to Carey made “perfect sense.”

Carey held top posts within News Corp, especially on the TV side and internationally with BSkyB, throughout the 1990s and was considered one of Murdoch’s most trusted executives. His last role there was as co-COO of Fox Entertainment Group but he also served on the board as a non-executive director until 2007. He has been at DirecTV since 2003; News Corp had a major stake in that satcaster until early 2008.

There are, per several sources, still issues to be sorted out regarding his exit since Malone plans to float part of the satelliter before the end of the year and Carey’s contract still has a year to run.