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By Allison Prang and Benjamin Mullin
Fox Corp. started trading as a standalone company Tuesday following a spinoff from 21st Century Fox and named a number of directors, including Paul Ryan, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, to its board.
The new Fox, which holds Fox's TV assets including Fox News, the Fox broadcast network and television stations, and Fox Sports, also appointed Anne Dias, Roland Hernandez and Chase Carey to its board.
Fox shares were down 3% in morning trading in New York.
Mr. Hernandez, the chief executive of Hernandez Media Ventures, served as CEO of Telemundo Group Inc. from 1995 to 2000. Ms. Dias founded media-focused investment fund Aragon Global Holdings. Mr. Carey the chairman and CEO of Formula 1, held various top posts at 21st Century Fox and was vice chairman until this year.
Mr. Ryan, the Republican Party's nominee for vice president in 2012, left his role as Speaker of the House this year.
Walt Disney Co. is acquiring the remaining 21st Century Fox entertainment assets for $71.3 billion, a deal that is expected to close Wednesday. Disney is purchasing production businesses such as the Twentieth Century Fox studio, U.S. cable networks including FX and National Geographic and international properties including Star India. It also will acquire Fox's stake in streaming-video service Hulu.
The acquisition of 21st Century Fox's assets and content libraries will help Disney compete with established streaming giants like Netflix Inc. and up-and-coming competitors such as Warner Media and Apple Inc. Disney is launching a streaming service, Disney+, later this year, part of the company's broader strategy to offer films, scripted television shows and live sports directly to consumers.
With its major entertainment and international assets sold, Fox Corp. is planning to focus on sports and news specifically for the U.S. market.
Rupert Murdoch and his family are significant shareholders in both Fox Corp. and Wall Street Journal parent News Corp.
Lachlan Murdoch is the chairman and chief executive of the new Fox, while Rupert Murdoch is serving as co-chairman. James Murdoch, Lachlan's younger brother, isn't expected to have a role at the new company and is starting an investment fund targeting digital and international media businesses, people familiar with the matter have said.
Some executives from 21st Century Fox are joining Disney. Emma Watts, the vice chairman of the Twentieth Century Fox studio, has been named as the vice chairman of Twentieth Century Fox film label at Disney. Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula, the heads of Fox Searchlight Pictures, will continue in those roles.
Write to Allison Prang at email@example.com and Benjamin Mullin at Benjamin.Mullin@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 19, 2019 11:56 ET (15:56 GMT)
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