Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets is not set in stone yet, especially considering reports of a Comcast attempt to outbid them circulating, but if the deal does go through it appears that James Murdoch will not be part of the transition.
Up until this point, it had been expected that James would be moved to an executive position within Disney as part of the deal, while his father Rupert and brother Lachlan would remain with what has been dubbed New Fox, made up of the company’s remaining Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, and the Fox broadcast network. It was even speculated in early December that James could find himself in the running to replace Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger upon his eventual retirement, currently set for 2022.
Instead, according to the Wall Street Journal, James plans to work independently, “most likely by starting a venture-capital fund to invest in digital and international media businesses.”
The Fox acquisition has yet to be finalized, and current projections have the deal closing by the end of summer 2019, still within the original 12-18 month time frame expected for it to pass regulators. That date does not account for the possibility that competitor Comcast outbids Disney, which it may attempt if it sees AT&T’s purchase of Time Warner proceed successfully.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Image: James Murdoch by NRKbeta [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons