James Murdoch says family is united as he takes helm of Fox

Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:29pm EDT
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By Leila Abboud

CANNES (Reuters) - James Murdoch, who will take the helm of Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA.O: Quote) next week, said there was little he and his father Rupert did not agree on with respect to the future of the family media empire.

At the Cannes Lions advertising conference on Thursday, the 42-year-old executive also said his relationship with brother Lachlan, who will be elevated to a co-executive chairman in the recently announced reshuffle was "very much a partnership".

While James and Lachlan are said by company sources to have a good relationship and approach the business as partners, the dual-reporting line could prove to be confusing and a source of tension, analysts have said.

"The family is obviously a big shareholder in the business, so we are all really invested in each others' success," said Murdoch.

"We all see very eye to eye on the business, so I think we're in reasonably good shape there."

Rupert Murdoch, who controls Fox through a trust that owns 39 percent of the voting shares, announced the long-expected elevation of his sons this month as he prepares the future of the company at a time of wrenching change in the television and entertainment businesses.

James Murdoch will soon be running a sprawling media empire that owns cable assets, broadcast networks and movie studios, including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox News and Star India. Fox is also the largest shareholder in European pay-TV group Sky PLC (SKYB.L: Quote) with 39 percent.

The family spun off the newspaper business News Corp. (NWSA.O: Quote), long a passion of Rupert Murdoch, into a separate company in 2013.   Continued...

James Murdoch (L) and his father Rupert leave the Stafford Hotel in central London in this July 10, 2011, file photograph. REUTERS/Olivia Harris