×

Official Name of New Fox Is, Uh, Fox — and Other Takeaways From Annual Stockholders Meeting

Lachlan Murdoch, 21st Century Fox’s co-chairman, called to order what was “likely the final” stockholders meeting of his family media company on Wednesday.

It was a polished, if not anticlimactic, affair that gave us an official name for New Fox as the Walt Disney Company prepares to ingest the former’s film and TV assets, leaving a leaner broadcasting infrastructure, sports programming, and the news operation.

Up for vote for the shareholders were standard issues like executive compensation and the approval of a dual stock structure, with a bit of palace intrigue and strategy peppered in. Here’s what Variety learned on the ground at the West Los Angeles Fox lot:

New Fox Has a New Name

It’s “Fox.” Leave your questions in the comments section below.

Rupert Stands Down

Eighty seven-year-old mogul and News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch appeared for only seconds at the top of the meeting to introduce son Lachlan, his co-chair at 21st Century Fox. It was Lachlan’s show otherwise. He opened with remarks about excitement over an expanded Disney and a revamped Fox. Rupert’s son James Murdoch, the company’s CEO, was present, but did not speak. He’s grown a formidable beard, FYI.

What Is Fox Now?

As expected, Fox will lean into its bread and butter: “disruptive” TV shows, “brash” sports coverage, and, of course, the news operation, Lachlan said. He also extolled his dad as a “journalist at heart,” before praising the company’s news operation as the “best news and the clearest opinion.” Lachlan offered no timeline or for the assembly and announcement of a creative team on the TV side.

Film Farewell

New Fox (it’s just “Fox” now, you’ll remember) was never expected to jump headfirst into the theatrical film business. Wednesday essentially confirmed that. The only capacity in which Fox’s film legacy was mentioned was in a victory lap at the top of Lachlan’s speech, where he praised the old company as the force behind “Avatar,” “Titanic,” “Home Alone,” “Life of Pi,” the “X-Men” series, and more. Also, rather ironically, the Murdochs welcomed shareholders with a medley of hits from “The Greatest Showman” soundtrack.

Now that 20th Century Fox Film and prestige label Fox Searchlight belong to Disney, it resurfaces an interesting question about the viability of those brand names surviving under Bob Iger’s roof. One theory floated on the ground by chatty meeting attendees: Disney could simply kill “Fox” in each title, leaving the labels as “20th Century” and “Searchlight,” respectively.

Neither company had immediate comment.

More TV

  • Kobe Bryant Staples Center memorial

    Kobe Bryant Mourners Gather Outside Staples Center to Remember Basketball Great

    Within hours of the news of Kobe Bryant’s death breaking, a fast-growing crowd of about two hundred people had gathered outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon to mourn the Lakers legend, who died earlier that day in a helicopter crash. Chants of “Kobe! Kobe!” broke out spontaneously outside of the [...]

  • Tanya Tucker and Brandi Carlile -

    Tanya Tucker Wins First Grammys, 47 Years After First Nomination

    Country music legend Tanya Tucker picked up her first two wins at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The 61-year-old singer won for best country song for “Bring My Flowers Now” and best country album for “While I’m Livin’.” “After 50 years in this business, I have a [...]

  • Kobe Bryant death

    News and Sports Outlets Scramble to Cover Kobe Bryant's Death

    Kobe Bryant’s shocking death forced major TV news and sports outlets to scramble on Sunday to cover the helicopter crash in Southern California that took the life of the legendary 41-year-old basketball star,  his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others. From the BBC to Fox News, Bryant’s death dominated coverage as soon as word surfaced [...]

  • Grammy placeholder

    Grammys Winners 2020: The Full List (Updating Live)

    The 62nd annual Grammy Awards kick off Sunday afternoon at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. This year’s top nominees include Lizzo, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X, whom are all scheduled to perform on the primetime telecast, in addition to Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani and more. The Grammys pre-show [...]

  • Lil Nas X Variety Cover Story

    Lil Nas X as Fashion Icon: The Rapper Runs Down Some of His Top Looks

    Already anointed a style icon by W magazine for “exploring uncharted territory in men’s fashion” and “redefining masculine expression,” Lil Nas X counted year-end best-dressed lists among his 2019 streaming and airplay accolades. Describing his fashion sense as “very experimental,” the rapper runs down a few of his top looks from last year. MTV Video [...]

  • Christopher Cross Grammys 1981

    Christopher Cross' 1981 Grammy Sweep Was the Best That He Would Do

    In the history of the Academy Awards, only three films have won the Hollywood equivalent of the royal flush — collecting statues for best picture, director, actor, actress and screenplay — and it’s safe to say all have held up fairly well: “It Happened One Night,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “The Silence [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content