Corrected: Rupert Murdoch's son Lachlan to become Fox CEO after Disney deal


Lachlan Murdoch is set to be the new chief executive officer (CEO) and chairman at Fox following its anticipated $66bn (£49bn) deal with Disney it was announced today. John Nallen, now Fox's chief financial officer, will take on the expanded role of chief operating officer, 21st Century Fox said in an emailed statement.

The deal with Disney, which was announced in December, will see Disney acquire assets such as European satellite TV company Sky, the Twentieth Century Fox film and TV studios, cable network FX, Indian satellite group Star India and a stake in streaming service Hulu.

Sky chairman James, 45, will not be involved in running a much smaller US-only company focused on news and sport.

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The new Fox will house assets including Fox News, Fox Business Network and sports cable networks, the company said.

Comcast, the largest U.S. cable channel, is said to be preparing financing for a potential counterbid for the Fox operations.

"I am also personally very pleased that John has agreed to take on the role of Chief Operating Officer, and together we look forward to making further announcements as to the management and structure of this new Fox as we get closer to closing our proposed transaction with Disney", Lachlan Murdoch added.

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Fox CEO James Murdoch isn't mentioned as part New Fox's leadership but is widely expected to leave Fox to do his own thing. Wednesday's announcement also fails to address questions about the fate of myriad other executives including current 21st Century Fox co-president Peter Rice and Fox Television Group chairs Dana Walden and Gary Newman.

The deal with Disney is still a long way from being completed. However, Comcast has let it be known that it is strongly considering mounting a rival bid for the 21st Century Fox assets. It looks to become a leaner business focused on Fox News, cable sports networks and local TV.

In 2013, Fox was separated from Murdoch's News Corp., which retained newspaper operations in the US, Britain and Australia.

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Lachlan's brother James - now Fox's chief executive officer - wasn't mentioned in Wednesday's statement.