Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Lachlan Murdoch will run father's empire after Disney deal, Fox says

Lachlan Murdoch will run father's empire after Disney deal, Fox says

New York, May 16 Rupert Murdoch's son Lachlan would assume the role of chairman and chief executive at 21st Century Fox following the closing of a proposed deal to sell key portions of the media-entertainment group to Disney, the company said today.

John Nallen, who now serves as chief financial officer of 21st Century Fox, will move into the role of chief operating officer of New Fox, while Rupert Murdoch will serve as co-chairman of the new company.

The widely expected move comes as Fox tries to complete the Disney deal, which involves selling about $US52 billion ($65 billion) of entertainment assets.

Lachlan and his father Rupert Murdoch will serve as co-chairmen of the new Fox, while current Chief Financial Officer John Nallen will also take the role of chief operating officer.

While Rupert Murdoch has not withdrawn from the companies, he has been gradually turning over more authority to his sons Lachlan and James, who now is CEO at 21st Century Fox.

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Comcast, the largest U.S. cable channel, is said to be preparing financing for a potential counterbid for the Fox operations.

The new Fox will house assets including Fox News, Fox Business Network and sports cable networks, the company said. Wednesday's announcement also fails to address questions about the fate of myriad other executives including current 21st Century Fox co-president Peter Rice and Fox Television Group chairs Dana Walden and Gary Newman. The Wall Street Journal reported this month that James will not take a position with Disney after the Fox acquisition.

Further complicating matters USA media company Comcast launched its own £22bn for Sky in April, which caused Sky to withdraw its recommendation to its shareholders to accept the previous Fox offer.

In 2013, Fox was separated from Murdoch's News Corp., which retained newspaper operations in the US, Britain and Australia.

"The opportunity to reshape a business strategy and an operational approach uniquely tailored to the new Fox is truly compelling", Nallen added.

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