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Lachlan Murdoch will be chairman and his father Rupert Murdoch will be co-chairman of “New Fox,” the company that will consist of the 21st Century Fox assets that Disney is not buying, including the Fox News Channel and Fox broadcast network, while Lachlan also will run the entity as its CEO.
The Murdoch-controlled conglomerate on Wednesday also said that CFO John Nallen will become COO at New Fox, which also will include the Fox Business Network, Fox Sports, Fox Television Stations Group and more.
“The new Fox will begin as the only media company solely focused on the domestic market; focused on what Americans love best — sports, news and entertainment, built and delivered for a U.S. audience,” Rupert Murdoch said.
“We have worked through the winter ‘standing up’ a reimagined independent Fox,” said Lachlan Murdoch. “The strengths of the new company, a leader in news, sports and entertainment, present truly unique opportunities.”
Disney has agreed to pay $52.4 billion for the Fox film and TV studio, FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, the regional sports networks and Star India. The deal also has Fox’s share of Hulu going to Disney, which means the latter will have 60 percent of that digital VOD asset, and Disney also is supposed to get Fox’s 39 percent share of Sky, the European TV giant.
A wrinkle in Disney’s plan, though, has Comcast potentially making a bid for the same assets Fox has agreed to sell, though Comcast is waiting to see if regulators approve a different merger in the media sector — that of AT&T and Time Warner — before it decides whether or not to officially outbid Disney.
Another drama playing out has 21st Century Fox trying to acquire the 61 percent of Sky it doesn’t already own, though European regulators have been dragging their collective feet deciding on the appropriateness of that deal. Plus, Comcast recently said it wants to buy all of Sky for $31 billion. Disney, therefore, does not yet know if it will be purchasing 39 percent of Sky, 100 percent of it, or none of it.
Lachlan Murdoch has been serving as co-executive chairman, along with Rupert, of 21st Century Fox since the company split from News Corp while his brother James has been CEO. Insiders say that James will begin his own digital media investment firm once the partial merger with Disney — or with Comcast — is complete.
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