Murdoch to step down as chief executive of media-entertainment empire

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Jun 12, 2015 09:16 IST

Rupert Murdoch is planning to step down as CEO of media giant and hand over the reins to his second son, James Murdoch, according to multiple US media reports on Thursday.

Murdoch, 84, will retain the position of executive chairman, and his eldest son Lachlan Murdoch will join him as executive co-chairman, according to the same media reports.

CNBC, which first reported these changes citing sources close to the Murdoch family, said it remained unclear if these changes will take place this year itself or 2016.

“The matter of succession is on the agenda at our upcoming, regularly scheduled board meeting,” Nathaniel Brown, a Fox spokesman, has said in a statement.

As part of the top-level restructuring Fox COO Chase Carey is also stepping down.

The succession plan began taking shape in 2014 when James Murdoch was appointed co-chief operating officer at 21sth Century Fox and Lachlan Murdoch was named non-executive chairman at New Corporation and 21st Century Fox.

“James will have the primary role in running Fox while Lachlan will take on a broader strategic role from his co-chairman position,” CNBC said quoting a source.

Star India, which broadcasts 40 channels in 7 languages, reaching more than 720 million viewers every week in India and 100 countries, is a wholly owned by 21st Century Fox.

And James Murdoch has close knowledge of the Indian market having overseen it as Star TV CEO for a few years starting 2000, base din Hong Kong.

“We love the India business,” he said at a conference in Mumbi recently, adding “creative and innovative content on screen, Star India will become a billion dollar EBIDTA “earnings before interest, taxes, depreciating and amortization) by the turn of the decade.”

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