New Canaan’s Carey part of Fox transition
Published 12:49 pm, Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Speaking in 2013 at the New Canaan Library where he whiled away many a day in his childhood, 21st Century Fox President Chase Carey responded to a question about who he thought had the inside track to succeed his boss Rupert Murdoch one day.
“I think Rupert’s going to outlast all his kids,” Carey said. “The decision on his successor will be the board’s ... should that day come.”
That day came Tuesday as Twenty-First Century Fox said Rupert Murdoch will turn over more power to his sons James and Lachlan on July 1.
Carey, president and co-chief operating officer, will stay with Twenty-First Century Fox until June 30, 2016 as its executive vice chairman.
James Murdoch, 42, will become CEO and Lachlan Murdoch, 43, will become executive co-chairman of the company that day.
Twenty-First Century Fox’s holdings include Fox News Channel, Fox broadcast network and the 20th Century Fox movie studio. Corporate functions as well as TV and film operations will jointly report to the Murdoch brothers, the company said.
Eighty-four year-old Rupert Murdoch has been CEO of the company since 1979 and chairman since 1991. He is also the executive chairman at News Corp., the company that now contains The Wall Street Journal and New York Post newspapers and book publisher HarperCollins.
In March 2014 the company named James as co-chief operating officer and Lachlan was promoted to nonexecutive
Carey’s own history with Murdoch companies dates back to 1988 when he joined News Corp., having worked for Columbia Pictures earlier in his career. In 2003, he would become CEO of DirecTV, in which Murdoch held a controlling stake before returning to 21st Century Fox in 2009 in his current role.
Carey is a 1972 graduate of New Canaan High School, going on to Colgate University, where he is a trustee emeritus, and then Harvard Business School. He moved back to New Canaan in 2000 with his spouse Wendy and two children.
“When I entered the industry over 30 years ago at Columbia Pictures, cable was in its infancy … (and) newspapers were still a foundation of daily life for most people,” Carey told his New Canaan Library audience in 2013. “The fragmentation is making competition brutal and sometimes unpredictable. Consumers are no longer captive, and with their new power of demanding to watch what they want, when they want, where they want.”
At 21st Century Fox enters a new era, the onus will be on James Murdoch going forward to figure out the ever-shifting media landscape and the company’s place in it — with input for the time being from his iconic father and from Carey.
“It’s a logical succession,” said Mario Gabelli, chairman of 21st Century Fox investor Gamco Investors of Rye, N.Y., in an interview with Bloomberg. “Chase Carey has done a fantastic job.