Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of Fox news and media mogul is breaking apart his largest company: 21st Century Fox. The movie and television production side of the business will be absorbed by Disney, while Fox News and other stations will consolidate into a single entity known as FOX.
Now, Murdoch is dismantling his life’s work: a kingdom worth more than US$100 billion. On Tuesday, his largest company, 21st Century Fox, will be broken apart. Walt Disney Co. will absorb Fox’s legendary movie and television production studios, with their deep trove of titles that include Avatar, Deadpool, Family Guy and The Simpsons. The Murdoch family will create a new entity, simply known as Fox that will include Fox News Channel, the Fox broadcast network, national Fox Sports channels, TV stations and the 50-acre Fox studio lot in Century City.
The sale seemed unthinkable to many. But the 88-year-old Murdoch was never enamoured of the clubby movie business. He wanted the film studio to support his global push into television, where he has left a more indelible mark. Along the way, he has relished his influence and his image as an outsider, a rascal who took big swings and thumbed his nose at the establishment.
“Rupert has been the most influential person in Hollywood in the last 25 years,” Peter Chernin, Murdoch’s former deputy who now owns his own media company, said in an interview. “He has been the key driver of trends that now define the industry.”
He is most associated with Fox News, the conservative-leaning outlet, which he has helped run since Roger Ailes was forced out in 2016 in a sexual harassment scandal. But Murdoch also is a towering presence at Fox Studios in Los Angeles.