Rupert Murdoch to Step Down as CEO of 21st Century Fox

In an out of the blue bombshell this morning, CNBC’s David Faber scooped the world…including, inexplicably, FBN and the Wall St. Journal…both Murdoch properties…by reporting that Rupert Murdoch will finally be giving up the CEO reigns of 21st Century Fox…

Rupert Murdoch, the 84-year-old chief executive officer and controlling shareholder of 21st Century Fox, is preparing to step down as CEO of the media giant and hand that title to his son James, according to numerous sources close to the Murdoch family.

An announcement is expected in the near term, while it’s unclear whether the reorganization would take place this year or at the start of 2016. Rupert Murdoch will continue to be the executive chairman of Fox, while his son Lachlan would also become an executive co-chairman of the company.

As part of the management reordering at Fox, COO Chase Carey will step down and take on a yet undefined role as an advisor at the company. Carey was widely expected to exercise his right to an early release from his contract, allowing him to leave the company at the end of this year. Now, sources tell me, he is likely to remain in some capacity through 2016. He did not return a call for commen.

For all the talk about CNBC’s woes, for all the talk of FBN’s expansion, particularly its star studded hiring spree the past few years, this is the ultimate black eye for the Murdoch business network.

This should have been a gimme for FBN. If Fox execs knew Faber was poking around, they should have leaked it immediately to someone at FBN…Gasparino, Cavuto, Bartiromo…ANYONE. Anything would have been a better outcome than allowing CNBC to break news in FBN’s back yard.

Instead Faber gets the media scoop of the year (provided Roger Ailes doesn’t suddenly decide to retire) and FBN is left bumbling behind picking up CNBC’s scraps.

There’s one word that best sums up this debacle. That word is “OUCH!”

Update: Howard Kurtz is tweeting some interesting news…

Rupert Murdoch will become executive chairman with two sons, James & Lachlan, in top roles. Roger Ailes will still report to Rupert, co says

So FBN and FNC are cut out of James Murdoch’s purview? That’s like being given the keys to a Lamborghini but handing the engine to someone else.

3 Responses to “Rupert Murdoch to Step Down as CEO of 21st Century Fox”

  1. Grandpa Dave Says:

    “Roger Ailes will still report to Rupert, co says”. Murdoch knows you don’t mess with success. In time though, one of the sons will probably be over Ailes or his successor.

  2. Gotta concur. This is a FBN “ouch”.

  3. Optically. The reality is something different…

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