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Less than a month after Peter Chernin said he wasleaving News Corp (NYSE: NWS). the company has announced a major restructuring of its LA-based Fox businesses. The changes detailed by Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch today (the full memo is after the jump) include:
— The LA-based creative production divisions will be combined under a single unit reporting to Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman, co-chairmen of Fox Filmed Entertainment. Twentieth Century Fox Television chairmen Gary Newman and Dana Walden will report to Gianopulos and Rothman. Emiliano Calemzuk, president of Fox Television Studios, will report to Newman and Walden.
— On the TV network side of the business, Tony Vinciquerra, chairman of the Fox Networks Group, will continue to head the cable networks, the business aspects of Fox Broadcasting, Fox International Channels, and will also add responsibility for Fox Broadcasting programming.
— A big surprise: Peter Liguori will be stepping down as chairman of entertainment, Fox Broadcasting, after five years at the network. Peter Rice, president of Fox Searchlight, will exit his post at the specialty label, and take on the role of chairman of entertainment, Fox Broadcasting, reporting to Vinciquerra.
Nothing much on the Fox Interactive Media side, though some have been expecting changes after Chernin’s exit, and the recent exec departures at MySpace, part of FIM. Peter Levinsohn, who is president of FIM, is now reporting directly to Murdoch, that’s about the only and expected change.
What this signifies is that Murdoch will get even more directly involved with the entertainment side of News Corp, even as challenges on the the print/newspaper side and Dow Jones/WSJ remain. B&C: Media analyst Rich Greenfield of Pali Capital Research: “It’s not surprising there needed to be consolidation. It makes sense and is logical. Rupert Murdoch is stepping up and taking full management control of the company.”
More details in release.