By Brian Flood
Published March 19, 2019
After months of anticipation, a historic merger that will reshape the media and entertainment industries is nearly complete.
The Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox will become official early Wednesday morning, with Fox News becoming a key part of the newly created Fox Corporation.
Fox Sports and Fox Broadcasting join Fox News as assets that will help make up Fox Corporation — which is officially a stand-alone, publicly traded company. It will begin trading on NASDAQ under the FOXA and FOX symbols. The company announced that former House Speaker Paul Ryan will join its board alongside Jacques Nasser and controlling shareholders founder Rupert Murdoch and CEO and chairman Lachlan Murdoch.
Aragon Global Holdings founder Anne Dias, Media Ventures CEO Roland Hernandez and Formula 1 chairman Chase Carey have also been appointed to the Fox Corp. board.
“We are thrilled to welcome our new colleagues to the Fox board,” Lachlan Murdoch said in a statement. “We look forward to working with and being guided by them as we begin a new chapter, steadfastly committed to providing the best in news, sports and entertainment programming.”
Lachlan Murdoch is expected to address employees at a town hall event on Thursday.
While Fox News and other television assets largely make up Fox Corp., Disney bolsters its content library with a plethora of new intellectual property such as “X-Men” and “Deadpool” by acquiring most of 21st Century Fox.
“The goal is to ramp up a programming pipeline for a new streaming service, called Disney+, that the company plans to launch later this year,” Los Angeles Times reporter Meg James wrote on Tuesday.
The mega deal, which was first announced back in 2017, included a contract extension for Disney CEO Bob Iger so that he is around to oversee the merger. Disney will take over the movie studio and entertainment cable channels of 21st Century Fox when the deal officially closes at 12:02 a.m. ET on Wednesday.