Rupert Murdoch Talks About Succession, Politics, And His Greatest “Screwup”: Fortune

murdoch-rupertRupert Murdoch is all over Twitter. (“My family are horrified that I’m on it,” he says.) But in agreeing to sit down for a broad interview with Fortune, one of the media industry’s most powerful moguls signals that he’s finally ready to return in a serious way to the public stage that he has largely abandoned as he grappled with his UK hacking scandals and a bitter divorce, as well as uncertainty about the prospects for his media empire — which he split into two companies last year — and his succession plans. You should check out the piece by senior editor-at-large Pattie Sellers. Here are a few of the highlights:

Related: Rupert Murdoch Says There May Be Multiple ‘Avatar’ Sequels: Fortune

Succession: His sons James and Lachlan are first in line to take over although “I’m going to be here for a long time. And so will [Fox COO] Chase Carey and [News Corp CEO]  Robert Thomson.” murdochsThe effort to bring Lachlan back intensified after a private meeting with James at last year’s Allen & Co confab in Sun Valley. “We had two or three hours together. Lachlan was not not going to come back. It was a question of how we would work together.”

Related: Lachlan And James Murdoch Given Big New Roles At News Corp

Daughter Liz Murdoch’s decision not to join the News Corp board: Rupert says he’d “rather not go into that.” A lot of close families “have good arguments. That doesn’t mean they don’t love each other.” And it’s “more than possible” that she’ll return to the family business.

Who’ll be the GOP’s 2016 presidential candidate: Murdoch says former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is “my number one” calling him “a man of very fine character.” He also has “particular admiration” for Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie “could recover” from inquiries into his possible role in manufactured traffic jams at the George Washington Bridge. Murdoch agrees with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on “a great number of things” but disagrees on foreign policy “too strongly perhaps to vote for him.”

His view of Hillary Clinton: He left open the possibility of supporting her but “it would depend on the Republican candidate totally.” He adds that he “could live with Hillary as President. We have to live with who we get. We don’t have any choice.” Read More »

Comments (6)

Jan Koeppen Named President Fox International Channels Europe & Africa

jan koeppenJan Koeppen, the current COO of 21st Century Fox Europe and Asia, is making a transition to Fox International Channels where he will take over as President of Europe and Africa. He is stepping into the … Read More »

Comments (0)

Lachlan And James Murdoch Given Big New Roles At News Corp, 21st Century Fox; Fox Nets Group’s Peter Rice Extends Contract

UPDATE: Below the original post is a copy of Rupert Murdoch’s memo to staff at 21st Century Fox regarding today’s appointments. In it, he notes that the evolution of the company’s leadership, “underscores the considerable planning that both the Company and the Board have undertaken to ensure a … Read More »

Comments (2)

21st Century Fox Shareholders Approve Delisting From Australian Securities Exchange

By | Friday March 21, 2014 @ 8:30am PDT

21stcenturyfox1__131014203730-275x122This is not an unexpected move. 21st Century Fox today announced its stockholders approved the company’s request to remove its foreign listing from the Australian Securities Exchange. This just involves Fox, not News Corp, the entity that includes most of Rupert … Read More »

Comments (0)

Deadline Big Media 76: The Obama Against Aereo Podcast

Deadline Big Media ep 76In this week’s podcast, Deadline’s executive editor David Lieberman and host David Bloom look at the Obama administration’s unusual intercession in the Aereo Supreme Court case on behalf of the networks and the notable absence of tech industry involvement in the case so far.

They also try to make sense of John Malone’s latest complicated stock shuffle that affects SiriusXM and Charter Communications; check in on the many Big Media highlights from this week’s Deutsche Bank investor conference; break out the checkbook for that Amazon Prime price hike; and wonder how DreamWorks Interactive can be on track for both a $310 million global box office haul for Mr. Peabody & Shermanand a write-down of $84 million for that same film. Read More »

Comments (0)

Chase Carey: Fox Network Is A “Work In Progress” But On Track

By | Tuesday March 11, 2014 @ 6:34am PDT

The 21st Century Fox COO acknowledges that with disappointments including the failure of The X Factor the “results are not what we want.” Chase CareyStill, Chase Carey told the Deutsche Bank Annual Media, Internet & Telecom Conference this Read More »

Comments (5)

James Murdoch Calls Dish Network-Disney Deal A Step In Right Direction

By | Wednesday March 5, 2014 @ 9:48am PST

Fox‘s Deputy COO particularly likes the fact that Dish Network agreed to disable the ad-zapping function in its Hopper DVRs for the first three days after it records an ABC show. James Murdoch photo“Protecting certain windows is important” — especially the three-day period that’s most important for TV ad sales — James Murdoch told the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference today. As part of the deal Disney dropped out of the suit that Fox and other broadcasters filed against Dish, which charged that its DVR’s capability to automatically skip past ads in recordings of their shows infringed on copyrights and violated contracts. Murdoch shied from discussing Disney’s changes in depth, but  said that “overall it looks like it’s a positive step forward. But it’s a step.” He also left a lot of wiggle room in his response to a question about Comcast’s $45.2B agreement to buy Time Warner Cable. “You can clearly see the rationale…But this one we have to watch very closely.” He suspects “there’ll be more to come” as regulators and others investigate how much clout Comcast would have over broadband access and pricing. Read More »

Comments (1)

Deadline Big Media 71 – The Twitter Loves Newbs Podcast

By and | Friday February 7, 2014 @ 3:02pm PST

Deadline BIG MEDIA ep 71In this week’s podcast, Deadline’s executive editor David Lieberman and host David Bloom look at CBS’ new Thursday night football deal with the NFL; Twitter’s complexity issue with newbies, and Disney’s red-hot quarter fueled by Thor and new franchise Frozen. They’ll also take a gander at those newly available HBO financial details and how they stack up against Netflix, even as Time Inc. braces for layoffs after its imminent spinoff; and question whether Microsoft’s new boss will be much different from the old boss, particularly with the company’s first boss as his new technology adviser.

Deadline Big Media podcast 71 (.MP3 version)
Deadline Big Media podcast 71 (.M4A version)
Read More »

Comments (0)

Chase Carey Says ‘The Simpsons’ Opens Digital Opportunities For FXX

By | Thursday February 6, 2014 @ 7:25am PST

Fox hopes to “create some precedents” with its digital plans for The Simpsons later this year when the long-running animated series will become “the face” of FXX, COO Chase Carey told analysts this morning in a call to discuss fiscal Q2 earnings.The-Simpsons-image-5__130806024809-275x314 No specifics yet — but the exec says that it’s one of the reasons why Fox decided to keep the re-run rights instead of licensing to someone else. “There are times when our distribution businesses have a unique ability to take advantage of a set of rights. And The Simpsons is a perfect example.” The show will “help brand…and help drive” FXX, Carey adds, but Fox isn’t “turning it into The Simpsons Channel.” Would a similar strategy also make sense for, say, FX’s The Americans? Not necessarily, Carey says. “When you get to a one-size-fits-all [strategy], I don’t think that’s the way to go….What we’re not going to do is undersell the content” when others “see values that exceed what it’s worth to us.” Read More »

Comments (0)

Fox Year-End Earnings Weighed Down By Sports Costs And Weak ‘X Factor’ Ratings

By | Thursday February 6, 2014 @ 5:16am PST

There are a lot of moving parts in Fox‘s fiscal Q2 report out this morning with the inclusion of Sky Deutschland revenue and a gain on the sale of an ownership stake in Phoenix Satellite Television. 21stcenturyfox1But for the most … Read More »

Comments (0)

Fox Agrees To Buy Controlling Stake Of YES Network

By | Friday January 24, 2014 @ 2:54pm PST

It’s been a big week for the New York Yankees. First the team won a bidding war for Japanese pitching phenom Masahiro Tanaka. YES NetworkThen, today, Fox announced that it will raise its stake in the team’s YES regional sports network … Read More »

Comments (5)

21st Century Fox Plans To Delist Australian Shares To Just Trade On NASDAQ

By | Thursday January 9, 2014 @ 5:34am PST

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz may be the main beneficiary of the move — which just involves Fox, not News Corp, the entity that includes most of Rupert Murdoch’s publishing and Australian holdings since the operations separated last summer. Read More »

Comments (0)

Global Showbiz Briefs: Fox Sells Star China Stake; Lawyer Who Outed J.K. Rowling As ‘Cuckoo’s Calling’ Author Fined; Channel 5 Sale?; Apollo Theatre Update; ‘SNL’

Star-TV-logo-bigTwenty-First Century Fox is divesting of its stake in Star China TV. China Media Capital’s management team and CMC itself will acquire Fox’s 47% stake for an undisclosed sum. The company, which was already majority owned by CMC, operates three 24-hour Mandarin-language channels and the Fortune Star Chinese movie library. James Murdoch, Deputy COO, Chairman & CEO of International for 21st Century Fox said the sale was part of a “broader agenda” to streamline “affiliate ownership structures.” In other words, Fox is looking to get out of companies in which it cannot have a majority position, Bloomberg notes. (Last January, Fox increased its holdings in German pay-TV group Sky Deutschland from 49.9% to 54.5% and is believed to still be keen on reviving an aborted attempt to acquire the part of BSkyB it does not already own.) CMC chairman Ruigang Li said the Star China deal marked “a new era” China Media Capital is a partner in DreamWorks Animation’s Chinese venture, Oriental DreamWorks.

i.1.j-k-rowling-the-cuckoos-calling-pseudonymThe lawyer who blew J.K. Rowling’s cover as the author of detective novel The Cuckoo’s Calling has been fined £1,000 for breaching privacy rules, the BBC reported. Rowling had penned the book under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith but was revealed as its true writer in July after The Sunday Times ran a story outing her. Chris Gossage, a partner at Russells Solicitors, had confided in his wife’s best friend that Rowling had written the book and that person then revealed the information in the course of a Twitter exchange with a journalist. Rowling swiftly took legal action against those responsible. They apologized, and agreed to pay Rowling’s legal fees as well as making a substantial donation to the Soldiers’ Charity. The more recent fines were applied by the UK’s Solicitors Regulation Authority. Sales of Cuckoo’s Calling skyrocketed after the Harry Potter creator’s identity was made public. Read More »

Comments (1)

UBS Confab: Chase Carey Calls A La Carte Pay TV Pricing A “Farce”

By | Tuesday December 10, 2013 @ 11:27am PST

The 21st Century Fox COO has a lot at stake in preserving the pay TV bundle, and scoffs at consumers’ continuing interest in a la carte pricing. Chase-Carey_20110715233131“It is a farce,” he told the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference. “People may want different bundles, but a la carte isn’t the answer…The bundle is still a great proposition for the consumer, when you compare it to the world of $5 lattes and cell phone bills.” Chase Carey concedes that pay TV networks and distributors have been too slow to offer content on the Internet. “TV Everywhere is the right path but has been poorly executed….We have to be part of the solution, not just sitting here, picking and complaining.” That will have to include developing business models for digital. “We haven’t scratched the surface.” He’s glad, though, that his company, Disney and Comcast decided not to sell Hulu. “Once we became convinced we had a shared vision for the opportunity, we moved naturally to a place …where we put the capital commitments behind it.” Read More »

Comments (14)

Chase Carey: Fox Follows No Set Formula For Designing Its Film Slate

By | Tuesday November 5, 2013 @ 3:09pm PST

Sounds like the 21st Century Fox COO either hasn’t read, or was unpersuaded by, Anita Elberse’s new book Blockbusters. The Harvard Business School professor is generating a lot of buzz in media circles with her argument that entertainment companies — including movie studios — incur less risk when they bet on a few big-budget extravaganzas than they do when they spread cash across many smaller productions. But Chase Carey had a different take today at an earnings call with analysts when he was asked whether the industrywide growth in spending on tentpole films is a mere fad or a fundamental shift in studio strategies. “The minute you start believing that there are formulas for what kinds of films to make you’re putting yourself in a corner,” he says. “You look for great films. Some will be on the high end, some on the low, and some in the middle.”

Related: Fox: Programming Investments Contributed To Earnings Miss
Read More »

Comments (13)

Fox Says Programming Investments Contributed To Earnings Miss For Fiscal Q1

By | Tuesday November 5, 2013 @ 1:08pm PST

No gain without pain, I guess — and Fox‘s investments in services including FXX and Fox Sports 1 pinched in the quarter that ended September 30. The company just reported net income of $1.26B, -43.8% vs the … Read More »

Comments (0)

Rupert Murdoch, Fox Board Re-Elected At Shareholders Meeting

By | Friday October 18, 2013 @ 10:49am PDT

UPDATE, 2:18 PM: The official results of today’s shareholder votes are in and while Fox management won resounding victories, the tallies show a few interesting nuances. Nearly 29% of those voting yes or no endorsed a shareholder resolution to … Read More »

Comments (0)

Fox Ups 2 To SVP Communications

By | Monday October 14, 2013 @ 1:32pm PDT

21st Century Fox has promoted both Dan Berger and Nathaniel Brown to Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications. Both are moving up from VP, Corporate Comm and will continue to report to Julie Henderson, EVP and Chief Communications Officer. Brown, based … Read More »

Comments (0)

Fox Scores Rights To German Soccer In 80 Territories Including North America

With the popularity of global soccer increasing in the States, and as next summer’s World Cup in Brazil approaches, 21st Century Fox is adding to its international rights portfolio. The group has partnered with the Deutsche … Read More »

Comments (5)
More Deadline | Hollywood »