21st Century Fox has announced 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.
Rupert Murdoch will serve as co-chairman of the new Fox alongside Lachlan Murdoch, and 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 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 long-term sports rights to the NFL, MLB, World Cup soccer and NASCAR.
“We have worked through the winter ‘standing up’ a re-imagined independent Fox. The strengths of the new company, a leader in news, sports and entertainment, present truly unique opportunities,” said Lachlan Murdoch. “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 John 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.
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, Lachlan Murdoch 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, Lachlan Murdoch 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 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, Lachlan Murdoch oversaw the company’s 35 owned-and-operated television stations, 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%.
In 2005, Lachlan Murdoch founded Illyria, a private investment company. In 2009, Illyria acquired 50% of DMG Radio, a network of radio stations, which later was renamed Nova Entertainment. Nova grew exponentially, nearly doubling in value during the first three years after the investment, while its EBITDA rose more than threefold from $16m in 2009 to $52m in 2014. In 2012, Illyria purchased the remaining 50%.
John P. 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.
Top photo: Sarah and Lachlan Murdoch at the 24th Vanity Fair Oscar After-Party on March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills (credit: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock)