Lachlan Murdoch (left) will be CEO of the new Fox company, with his brother James (right) expected to depart. Fox is now trying to sell off $52 billion of TV and entertainment assets, and once the deal is finalized, the resulting company will be lead by Rupert Murdoch and his son. But the matter may not be settled.
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.
The Burbank-based Disney is expected to acquire the majority of 21st Century Fox assets, including the 20th Century Fox movie and TV studios, the cable channels FX and National Geographic, as well as other properties.
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 the Fox Broadcasting Company. The future of his vast holdings has been a source of longstanding debate within the industry. It's no huge surprise that Lachlan Murdoch will serve as chairman and CEO. Though the Disney deal gives his son less territory to command, it still includes significant sports, entertainment and news assets. Comcast, the largest United States cable channel, is said to be preparing financing for a potential counterbid for the Fox operations.
21st Century Fox chief financial officer John Nallen will take a broader position as chief operating officer, but no role for the group's current president, Peter Rice, was included in today's announcement.
A late challenge has come from Comcast, the largest U.S. cable network, which is understood to have met with financiers in preparation for a $60 billion all-cash bid for Fox's entertainment package. The 46-year-old previously served as co-chairman and held various roles within his father's empire, including chairman of Fox TV stations and publisher of the New York Post.