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Fox Draws Up a Succession Plan

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Updated

Plan excludes current CEO

Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX) (FOXA) has begun contemplating a future without the majority of its assets. It has agreed to sell the bulk of its assets to the Walt Disney Company (DIS).

The slimmed-down Fox that will remain after the Disney deal closes has necessitated a succession plan that excludes its current CEO, James Murdoch. The new Fox will be run by Lachlan Murdoch, James’s brother. James and Lachlan are both sons of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, whose family controls Fox and News Corp. (NWSA), which owns the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets around the world. Lachlan will serve alongside his father as co-chairmen of Fox.

 

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Fox rejected offers from Comcast and Verizon

Last December, Fox agreed to sell the majority of its assets, including its film and television production business, to Disney for $52.4 billion. Comcast (CMCSA) and Verizon (VZ) showed interest in buying the assets, but their offers were rejected. Fox’s leadership reasoned that a deal with Disney wouldn’t face significant regulatory hurdles.

But Comcast is not pleased with the idea of Fox’s assets going to Disney. It’s reportedly plotting a fresh bid for Fox to counter the Disney deal.

Fox’s revenue fell 2%

Fox will be left with Fox News, Fox Business, and sports cable networks if the Disney deal goes through.

Fox generated $7.4 billion in revenues in its fiscal third quarter,[1. ended in March 2018] representing a decrease of 1.9% YoY (year-over-year). Revenue rose 3.4% YoY at Time Warner (TWX) in the same period. While Fox is selling much of its business to Disney, Time Warner is selling its entire operation to AT&T (T) for $85.4 billion.

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