Murdochs Rally Staff About "New Fox" After Disney Deal

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Rupert Murdoch

The memo also hinted at potential layoffs: "We are deeply committed to finding opportunities for our people as well as ensuring that anyone impacted is well taken care of."

Following the unveiling of a $52.4 billion deal to sell assets of the Fox empire to Disney, Rupert Murdoch and his sons James and Lachlan rallied staff in a memo disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Thursday. 

The full letter, signed by Rupert, Lachlan and James, is below. 

DEAR COLLEAGUES,

Our journey started decades ago, and with your hard work, creativity and dedication, we’ve built and nurtured what has become 21st Century Fox – one of the most dynamic media companies in the world. Today, we launch the next great leg of our journey by announcing two transformative transactions, the new “Fox” and a combined Disney and Fox.

Our sports, news and broadcast businesses will form the new Fox, a growth company centered on live news and sports brands and the strength of the Fox Network. The new Fox will be created through a spin-off of Fox Broadcasting, Fox News, Fox Business, FS1 and FS2, Big Ten Network (BTN) and our stations group. This company is already a leader many times over: Fox News is the long-time leading cable news network and more recently the #1 cable network. Fox Business is now the most watched business news channel. Fans look to FOX and Fox Sports as the long-term home of important sports leagues like the NFL, MLB and NASCAR and college conferences like the Big 10. And the FOX broadcast network and stations group are present in tens of millions of homes across this country providing Americans with live local news and sports. Fox’s mission will be to produce and deliver must-watch live news and sports content to households across America at a time when live content has never been more coveted.

Combining with Disney are 20th Century Fox Film, 20th Century Fox Television, FX Networks and Productions, the National Geographic Partners, Fox Sports Regional Sports Networks, Fox Networks Group International, Star India, and our interests in Hulu, Sky PLC, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group. We’ve long-admired what Disney has built, and like Fox, Disney boasts content assets that engage audiences around the world. Their parks and resorts business is a clear leader, as is their consumer products business. The scope of the new company’s combined storytelling, customer interactions, consolidated Hulu ownership and the international direct to consumer businesses at Sky and Star, will yield a formidable customer-driven company for the future.

You may be wondering how we came to this momentous decision. And the answer is simple – we’ve always made a commitment to deliver more choices for customers; provide great storytelling, news, challenging opinion and compelling sports. Through today’s announcements we are proud to recommit to that promise and enable our businesses to flourish for years to come. The new Fox and Disney are two of the world’s most iconic, relevant, and dynamic media companies, and they will each continue to be leaders in creating the very best experiences for consumers.

We of course appreciate that change brings uncertainty. While we do not yet know what these future changes will mean for our talented colleagues, we can tell you this: we are deeply committed to finding opportunities for our people as well as ensuring that anyone impacted is well taken care of. As the planning for these transactions gets underway, we will have more information to share with all of you. We encourage you to visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

In the meantime, it is important to remember that while we have agreed to these transactions, it will be 12-18 months before the spin-off and the combination with Disney are complete. Until then, we will continue to operate independently as we do now and there will be no related changes to your position or responsibilities. We encourage everyone to remain focused on continuing to deliver the outstanding and meaningful work we do here every day.

We want to reiterate our deep appreciation for everything you do to make this a special company, and we look forward to sharing updates with you.

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