Fox Out Of The News Corp Henhouse- Leadership And Names Unveiled For News Corp Spinoff

English: Looking east towards 6th Avenue along...

With the high profile Abbott/Abbvie separation completed, it’s time to look forward to the next ‘big’ spin. It’s not always so easy to predict which name that will be, but one thing I do know for certain is that the upcoming News Corporation (NWSA) spinoff of its publishing assets will certainly be getting a lot of press.

In case you don’t remember or were too consumed by the never ending hacking scandal (and you don’t feel like clicking our link above), the media conglomerate announced plans this past summer to spin off its publishing, education and Australian assets (including TV) into a separate company. One of the big questions surrounding the move was which Rupert Murdoch lieutenant would get the call to lead the new company. The answer was provided at the end of the year when it was announced that Robert Thomson, managing editor of the WSJ and Dow Jones Editor-In-Chief would become CEO of the publishing entity beginning in January 2013. Mr. Thomson is well respected in the industry and seems to be a solid choice to lead the new company which is facing numerous headwinds. Print isn’t exactly a hot business right now. In the words of Mr. Murdoch, “the challenges we face in the publishing and media industries are great, but the opportunities are greater.” That last part seems a bit optimistic to me, but to be fair, ‘hated’ assets often end up performing pretty well. Also joining Mr. Thomson at the head of the new company will be Bedi Ajay Singh (CFO), Paul Cheesbrough (Chief Technology Officer) and Keisha Smith (director of HR).

The new names for companies were also revealed, but alas, there is no ‘Mondelez‘ to be mocked here. Perhaps even some common sense? The publishing assets will retain the ‘News Corporation’ moniker which sure does make for some confusing press releases. All that talk of the new News Corporation. The fun businesses – TV, cable, film etc. – will be a part of the…Fox Group. You might have heard the name once or twice before.

Mr. Murdoch will serve as Chairman of both companies, but will be CEO of the Fox Group. A classic ‘tell’ as to which company management thinks is the better opportunity. Mr. Murdoch’s son, James, will remain Deputy COO at Fox and Chase Carey will become the company’s President and COO. The plan is for Fox to ‘strengthen its creative content businesses and distribution assets, including enhancing its sports portfolio through key investments in Asia, Europe and Latin America.’ Sports does seem to be a key focus for the company as it recently locked down a deal for a stake in the YES Network, the regional cable unit for the New York Yankees. It is also in discussions for exclusive TV rights for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The new News Corp recently filed its initial Form 10 (click here), but we hope to take a look at that in some more depth in a later post given the not so flattering headlines being put on it.

Disclosure: Author holds no position in any stock mentioned.

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