James Murdoch Says Leadership Transition at 21st Century Fox Is Going Smoothly

James Murdoch - H 2015
Courtesy of 21st Century Fox

James Murdoch - H 2015

The Fox chief also tells investors that he is optimistic about "rebundling."

Speaking to investors on Wednesday, 21st Century Fox chief executive James Murdoch gave assurances that he and his brother are seeing eye-to-eye on the business and that the recent leadership shakeup has been going smoothly.

At the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference, Murdoch was asked about his duel leadership with Fox co-chairman Lachlan Murdoch with the moderator making the point that there haven't been too many examples of a co-CEO structure working.

"This is business where we are big shareholders and we are aligned," he responded. "We communicate regularly and see eye-to-eye."

Murdoch credited his father Rupert Murdoch with instigating a "smooth transition" by making sure each of his sons had a good stake in the company. The investors were also told that having Chase Carey around during the transition helped as well.

At the conference, Murdoch was asked a series of questions about cord cutting, skinny bundles, SVOD and other hot topics in the entertainment industry. The Fox chief struck an optimistic note about his company's future, saying that it was most important to build brands and that the company is focused on simplifying its structure.

"The real story is rebundling," he said.

In Murdoch's view, customers are getting a lot more choices — and he believes that there's good ways to monetize all of this, saying that revenue from non-live streams will become more important than the live window. "My focus is that brands we are investing in are reaching customers," he said.

During his talk, Murdoch also shrugged off a challenge that Fox needed to become more adversarial towards Netflix, saying the relationship has been "good for both sides," although he did seem keen towards doing more with Hulu. He cited a more favorable licensing structure as well as bigger ad inventory that allowed Fox a greater sense of control.