News Corp’s statement yesterday was unclear on whether the new powerbroker at Rupert’s empire, Chase Carey, would control everything, or just offshore businesses with Rupert overseeing the US. The statement merely referred to “global operations” and earlier reports had Mr Murdoch retaining control of the US businesses. But today, the staff journal The Australian printed a correction:
In a statement, the company said Mr Carey would oversee the group’s “global operations” and would be based with Mr Murdoch in New York. A spokesman also confirmed the new chiefs of the Fox film and TV businesses would now report to Mr Carey instead of Mr Murdoch.
Mr Carey’s return will also prompt speculation he has also replaced Mr Chernin as Mr Murdoch’s nominated successor.
No mention in The Australian‘s report that Mr Carey’s new titles and roles would place him above James Murdoch, and a long way in front of brother, Lachlan. Very few people from outside the News Ltd/News International camp who have flown high in News and around Rupert, survive for long.
I’m thinking of the like of Harold Evans, Andrew Knight (the former Editor of The Economist, now just a director), Peter Chernin (who did last more than a decade) and Mr Carey, who preferred to remain with Direct TV when it was sold to John Malone’s Liberty group in exchange for News Corp voting shares. Not even Lachlan and daughter Elizabeth (and the first daughter, Prudence), could last the distance.
So how long will Mr Carey last, especially against the ambitious James, the Chairman and Chief Executive of News Europe and Asia, but no more if Mr Carey is his boss?