“It’s Not Enough To Simply Adapt To Change”: Lachlan Murdoch

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The new co-chairman of 21st Century Fox Lachlan Murdoch has told investors he doesn’t underestimate the challenges ahead for Fox, especially as its fourth-quarter results are released.

Murdoch, who stepped into dad’s shoes after Rupert Murdoch stepped down last month, told investors that he fears satellite and cable businesses were under threat from streaming services, like Netflix.

“In this environment it is not enough to simply adapt to change,” Mr Murdoch told analysts on a conference call. “To succeed in this environment we must lead change,” he said.

“The scale and speed of this change will, to some, be overwhelming,” he said, adding that “more people are watching more quality storytelling than ever. They’re just consuming it differently.

“But we also understand linear viewing remains a key driver of our channels’ business; finding and investing in the best content creators around world. This commitment will not diminish and if anything will increase,” Murdoch said.

21st Century Fox announced its financial results for its fourth-quarter results ending in June came in at US$6.21 billion, a 26 percent decline from the prior year.

Fox reported a new US$5 billion stock- buyback following the change in leadership. During the fourth quarter, Fox repurchased 34 million Class A shares for $US1.16 billion, bringing the total fiscal year repurchase to 172 million Class A shares for $US5.94 billion.

“We made clear operational strides over the last year that will further position us to benefit from the strong and growing global demand for high quality video content,” Murdoch said in a statement.

“We delivered a solid financial performance, driven by sustained gains in affiliate fees, while we continued to invest in building our new channels Fox Sports 1, FXX and Star Sports.”

 

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