Lachlan Murdoch will take on the role of chairman and chief executive of the “new” Fox — the slimmed down media company that will be created following the approval of the Walt Disney Co.’s acquisition of the majority of 21st Century Fox’s assets.
His father, Rupert Murdoch, will assume the title of co-chairman of the company, while John Nallen, currently 21st Century Fox’s chief financial officer, will take a bigger role as chief operating officer.
Conspicuously missing from Fox’s announcement on Wednesday was any mention of Lachlan’s brother, James, who has worked alongside his sibling for years at their father’s media empire. It remains unclear if James Murdoch will have any role in the new company, though a recent Wall Street Journal report speculated that he will branch off to pursue his own ventures.
In a statement, Rupert Murdoch said: “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.”
The new Fox will consist of the Fox News Channel, which is the top-rated cable news channel in the country, as well as the Fox Business Network and Fox Broadcasting Co. It will also focus heavily on sports, with such properties as Fox Sports and the sports cable networks FS1, FS2, Fox Deportes and Big Ten Network.
The Burbank-based Disney is expected to acquire the majority of 21st Century Fox’s assets, including the 20th Century Fox movie and TV studios, the cable channels FX and National Geographic. The $52.4-billion deal was announced late last year but hasn’t formally closed.
On Wednesday, Lachlan Murdoch, 46, said in a statement that “we have worked through the winter ‘standing up’ a reimagined independent Fox. The strengths of the new company, a leader in news, sports and entertainment, present truly unique opportunities.”
A spokesman for 21st Century Fox, which is based in New York, declined to comment about James Murdoch.
Fox News separately confirmed on Wednesday that it has reached a settlement with a group of former employees who had filed lawsuits that included allegations of racial and gender discrimination.
The spokesperson for the cable news channel declined to discuss the terms of the settlement.
However, a source with knowledge of the agreement said it involved about 20 cases for close to $10 million. The same source said the $10 million includes contractual buyouts.