21st Century Fox has revealed that its Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch will serve as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the proposed new ‘Fox’, which will be formed after shareholder and regulatory approval of the proposed transaction between 21CF and The Walt Disney Company. Lachlan’s brother James, currently Chief Executive Officer of 21CF, is not mentioned in the company Statement, which could indicate that he is staying in his role, or as has been rumoured, will take a senior position at Disney following closure of the deal.
The Company also announced that Rupert Murdoch will serve as Co-Chairman of the new Fox, alongside Lachlan Murdoch; and that John Nallen, 21CF’s Chief Financial Officer, will take a broader role as new Fox’s Chief Operating Officer.
The new Fox will be home to such iconic branded properties as 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. It will house the #1 cable news channel in the country, and a stations group in nine of the 10 largest metro areas in the US. Its broadcasting and cable sports brands will have coveted, long-term sports rights to the NFL, MLB, World Cup soccer and NASCAR.
“We have worked through the winter ‘standing up’ a reimagined independent Fox,” said Lachlan Murdoch. “The strengths of the new company, a leader in News, Sports and Entertainment, present truly unique opportunities,”. “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 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 US audience,” said Rupert Murdoch.
“The opportunity to reshape a business strategy and an operational approach uniquely tailored to the new Fox is truly compelling,” said Nallen. “I look forward to joining Lachlan as we begin to establish new Fox.”
Lachlan Murdoch has served as Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox since 2015. In this role, he works directly with the Company’s senior management and Board of Directors in developing global strategies and setting the overall corporate vision. He has spent the past two decades building, operating and investing in many of the world’s most prominent television and publishing businesses. He also currently serves as Co-Chairman of News Corp and Executive Chairman of NOVA Entertainment, an Australian media company.
Prior to his current role, he served as Co-Chairman of 21st Century Fox beginning in March 2014 and has served the Company as a member of the Board of Directors since 1996, as well as in a number of senior executive roles from 1994-2005. From 2000 – 2005, he served as Deputy Chief Operating Officer of 21st Century Fox (previously known as News Corporation), a role in which he was directly responsible for the Company’s US television stations group and publishing assets.
As part of his duties as Deputy Chief Operating Officer, he was Chairman of Fox Television Stations (FTS) and Publisher of the New York Post, and also oversaw HarperCollins and the Company’s lines of business in Australia, including REA, Australia’s leading online real estate business. He led the Company’s purchase of a controlling stake in REA, which began with an original cash investment of approximately $1 million and resulted in a corporate asset that is currently valued at more than $5 billion. At FTS, he oversaw the Company’s 35 owned-and-operated television stations, where he raised the bar on local news coverage across the nation, increasing the total number of local news hours across the group to more than 850 per week.
At the New York Post, he overhauled the tabloid and grew its circulation by more than 40 per cent. During his tenure, the Post became the nation’s fastest-growing newspaper and the seventh largest in the United States.
Nallen is Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for 21st Century Fox, a role which he assumed in 2013. Nallen oversees all of the Company’s financial aspects including capital market and merger and acquisition transactions. He previously served as Executive Vice President and Deputy Chief Financial Officer, a position he held starting in 2001. Nallen joined the Company (previously known as News Corporation) nearly 25 years ago from Arthur Andersen where he was a partner in its Media and Entertainment practice.