Lachlan Murdoch will serve as chairman and chief executive of the “New Fox,” to be formed after the proposed sale of most of 21st Century Fox’s film and TV assets to Disney, with Rupert Murdoch serving as co-chairman of new company alongside his son.
John Nallen, Fox’s current chief financial officer, will assume a broader role as chief operating officer.
Fox CEO James Murdoch isn’t mentioned as part New Fox’s leadership but is widely expected to leave Fox to do his own thing. Fox Entertainment Group chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman are in advanced negotiations for a one-year contract extension to steer the division until the sale is finalized, sources say.
Disney would acquire Fox’s film and television studios, its FX and National Geographic cable networks, Fox’s regional sports networks, its stakes Hulu and in UK pay TV provider Sky, as well as Star India. The $52.4 billion all-stock deal awaits regulatory approval.
That leaves the newly formed Fox with Fox News Channel; Fox Business Network; Fox Broadcasting Company; Fox Sports; Fox Television Stations Group; and sports cable networks FS1, FS2, Fox Deportes and Big Ten Network.
“The strengths of the new company, a leader in News, Sports and Entertainment, present truly unique opportunities,” said Lachlan Murdoch, who has served as executive chairman of Fox since 2015. “I am also personally very pleased that John has agreed to take on the role of Chief Operating Officer, and together we look forward to making further announcements as to the management and structure of this new Fox as we get closer to closing our proposed transaction with Disney.”
The announcement does not acknowledge Comcast’s interest in making an unsolicited bid for Fox. The cable giant has been talking with investment banks about obtaining financing to make an all-cash offer. It’s waiting for a federal judge to issue a ruling in the Justice Department’s antitrust case against the AT&T-Time Warner merger before making a move.