There will be one less Murdoch in the 21st Century Fox fold after the company completes its joint venture with Apollo Global Management to combine Shine Group with Apollo’s Endemol and Core Media Group.
Sources confirm that Murdoch will step down after the rollup is complete. At present she is non-exec chairman of Shine Group, the U.K.-based production-distribution group that she founded after leaving BSkyB in 20oo. The former News Corp. bought Shine Group in early 2011, but the company has continued to operate autonomously from 21st Century Fox’s other TV businesses. Murdoch had stepped away from a hands-on exec role more than a year ago.
Speculation about Murdoch’s future in the company controlled by her father, Rupert Murdoch, and the Murdoch family trust heated up on Sunday after word surfaced that former BSkyB topper Sophie Turner Laing has been tabbed to serve as global CEO of the combined Shine-Endemol-Core. With Laing’s appointment, it was confirmed that Alex Mahon will step down as CEO of Shine and Just Spee will exit as Endemol topper.
The lack of a clearly defined role for Murdoch in the post-merger transaction spurred speculation that she would again leave the family business to pursue independent entrepreneurial efforts — as Variety reported on Sunday.
Fox and Shine declined to comment.