Discussion of Fox's succession plans for Murdoch, 84, have intensified amid a stock that has dropped 15% in 2015 as its flagship network has struggled for ratings and revenue. Murdoch, 84, who founded the broadcast, cable and film company originally as News Corp., has mostly hinted that he would prefer to pass its reigns to one of his children. James, 42, his youngest son, has shared the position of chief operating officer with Chase Carey.
But with James Murdoch's promotion to CEO, Carey has apparently lost an internal power struggle though he reportedly will remain at the company yet in an advisory role, CNBC said. Lachlan Murdoch, 43, Rupert's oldest son, will become a co-executive chairman of Fox, working with James to run the company, CNBC anchor David Faber reported. Both James and Lachlan as well as Carey are members of Fox's board of director.
"It has been pretty clear all along that Rupert has intended to hand the company over to James at some point," Doug Creutz, a media analyst at Cowen & Co. said in an investor note. "We have always viewed Rupert as an empire builder who is more concerned with accumulating assets than with delivering shareholder returns. James does have extensive operational experience, and could turn out to be a good or even great CEO who is more sensitive to shareholder concerns than Rupert was."
An official announcement is expected in the near term though it remains unclear when the changes would take place, CNBC reported. Fox, in statement, said that "The matter of succession is on the agenda at our upcoming, regularly scheduled board meeting."
Shares of New York based Fox were slipping 0.2% to $32.90.