No more Family Guy: James Murdoch to leave Fox after Disney deal

Wednesday, 16 May, 2018

Last week, the proposed acquisition of 21st Century Fox by The Walt Disney Company took a hit, much to fan dismay, when rival contender Comcast tabled a substantial, all-cash bid for the rights to intellectual properties owned by the Rupert Murdoch-founded company.

Lachlan Murdoch has served as executive chairman of 21st Century Fox since 2015.

"We have worked through the winter "standing up" a reimagined independent Fox", Lachlan Murdoch, 46, said in a statement.

The new Fox company will be without 21st Century Fox's film and television studios, entertainment cable channels, a stake in streaming service Hulu and regional sports networks.

James Murdoch has been serving as the CEO of 21st Century Fox, while his brother and father have been serving as co-executive chairman.

The younger son, who now serves as chairman of Fox as well as the UK's Sky, had been expected to take up a senior position at Disney. Speculation about James at the time of the deal centered on a possible role at Disney, where CEO Bob Iger's contract had been slated to end in 2019, and an heir apparent was not in place.

In recent months, James has distanced himself from the politics espoused by his father and the company's flagship channel, Fox News. They are all assets the company said it would keep after striking a $52 billion-deal late previous year with Disney for its major TV and film divisions, which include cable channels FX and National Geographic.

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 new Fox will begin as the only media company exclusively focused on the domestic market; focused on what Americans love best - sports, news and entertainment, built and delivered for a United States audience", said Rupert Murdoch. As expected, the new-model Fox Broadcasting Co. will emphasize live sports and events. "I look forward to joining Lachlan as we begin to establish new Fox".