The many changes under way at Rupert Murdoch’s TV empire include a shift of the power center of the company from New York to Los Angeles, where CEO Lachlan Murdoch and other key corporate leaders will be based.
When 21st Century Fox completes the sale of bulk of its assets to Walt Disney Co, as it is expected to do so early next year, the remaining pieces – Fox Broadcasting, Fox Sports and Fox News – will likely be governed from the West Coast. That’s where Lachlan Murdoch, future chairman and CEO, lives. Viet Dinh, recently named chief legal and policy officer of the new company, is expected to relocate to Los Angeles, according to a person familiar with the matter. John Nallen, the new company’s chief operating officer, however, is likely to work out of New York City.
Also Monday, New Fox made waves by naming Hope Hicks, the former White House communications director under President Donald Trump, as its new executive vice president and chief communications officer. Hicks will also be based in Los Angeles.
Fox has long been a bi-coastal media conglomerate – Fox News is run from New York, for example, while Fox Sports and Fox Broadcasting have been led from Los Angeles – but Rupert Murdoch, the company’s founder and longtime governing executive, largely managed affairs from a skyscraper on Manhattan’s Avenue of the Americas (though he is known to have a vineyard on the West Coast). Fox News will remain based in New York City, led by CEO Suzanne Scott.
The company’s West Coast operations were long rooted in the 20th Century Fox studio, which is among the assets moving to Disney. Lachlan Murdoch relocated to Los Angeles from Australia in 2014 when he returned to the family business as his father prepared to hand over the reins of 21st Century Fox to Lachlan and his younger brother, James. After getting his young children settled in the Los Angeles area, he is unlikely to uproot them again, sources said.
The Disney sale, valued at $71.3 billion, is expected to close in 2019.