The board of 21st Century Fox recently announced the elevation of James Murdoch to the role CEO from July 1st. J. Murdoch will be filling in the position of his father Rupert Murdoch who is the company’s founder, Chairman and CEO and will now become the Executive Co-Chairman along with other son Lachlan Murdoch, who is currently Co-Chairman.
J. Murdoch currently served as Co-Chief Operating Officer. The elevation will see him in charge of running one of the biggest media and entertainment conglomerate in the world. His elevation to the top may see its impact on Indian shores for the company which runs two of the biggest media and entertainment companies i.e. Star India and Fox Star Studios. The 42 year old has had a keen eye in the Indian media and broadcasting market. It was only recently in April this year that he mentioned at Asia Pacific Pay-TV Operators Summit 2015 that he expected Star India to have a turnover of $1 billion EBIDTA by turn of the decade (2020). He has often cited that Star India has been a big focus for Fox with key growth business interests for the conglomerate.
J. Murdoch also had a tenure where he took charge of Star India as CEO and is credited for making it into a top broadcaster in India. In March, he was in India for a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also met other senior ministers Finance Minister and Information & Broadcast Minster, Arun Jaitley and Minster of Telecom and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar. The meeting was said to be with regards to Star India’s aggressive expansion plans.
The aggressive plans have been seen though several investments in the India business. It had expanded Star India’s sports business with several investments and stake acquisition of key properties such as ISL and Pro Kabaddi League and at the same time making inroads into the regional markets through strategic acquisitions such as that of MAA TV Network recently. It has also invested heavily into the digital space with the broadcaster looking to be ahead of the game in this space. The company also looks to expand in the film industry space with Star India’s tie-up with Dharma Productions recently.
With J. Murdoch taking over the reins of the media conglomerate can we expect a lot more investment to be put into the India businesses, especially the Star India network? With specific interest shown by him in the India businesses his elevation to CEO might see further investment in India. It will also have to be seen what changes he brings into the businesses in India.