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‘New Fox’ unveils execs

Further details have emerged of the management team that will run the new-look Fox company, which is emerging from Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s assets.

Lachlan Murdoch

Lachlan Murdoch has been confirmed as chairman and CEO of Fox, with Mike Biard, previously president of distribution for Fox Networks Group, becoming president of operations and distribution for Fox.

In his new role, Biard will oversee the company’s multiplatform distribution strategy as well as production operations and content acquisition strategies. He will report to John Nallen, who has already been named chief operating officer of Fox.

Eric Shanks has been named CEO of Fox Sports, having previously been its president, chief operating officer and executive producer, while Paul Cheesbrough has been named chief technology officer and head of direct-to-consumer platforms. Cheesbrough was previously chief tech officer for 21st Century.

The appointments will become effective upon the closure of 21st Century Fox’s US$52.4bn deal with Disney. That will see the Mouse House taking over a cable operation that includes National Geographic, FX and FXX, as well as a 30% interest in streamer Hulu.

Disney is also acquiring entertainment properties such as X-Men, Avatar and The Simpsons among the array of assets. However, Comcast, which lost out in the fight for many of the 21st Century Fox assets, has picked up the company’s stake in European pay operator Sky.

Murdoch said the appointments brought “vision, entrepreneurial spirit and proven track records to position Fox to seize future opportunities for its leading and deeply resonant brands across sports, news and entertainment.”

As previously announced, Suzanne Scott will continue to serve as CEO of Fox News and Fox Business Network, and Jack Abernethy will remain CEO of Fox Television Stations. A series of other appointments were announced back in May.

As expected, there is no role at the news- and sport-focused firm for current 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch, who is expected to launch his own venture.


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