The fears were true (2/2/09 TVBR #21): News Corp. President Peter Chernin, credited with paving the way for the company’s growth on Wall Street and in Hollywood, is leaving the company, according to The LA Times. Rupert Murdoch is expected to pick up many of the duties handled by Chernin, including oversight of News Corp.’s Fox movie and television operations. No successor has yet been named and there is no guarantee there will be one.
Chernin’s departure, finalized over the weekend according to the story, comes at a tough for News Corp., which like other media companies has been affected by the recession and a decline in ad revenue. News Corp.’s stock is some 70% from its 52-week high.
Chernin in recent months told Murdoch that he was seriously considering leaving at the end of his contract on June 30. Under terms of that contract, Chernin is entitled to a lucrative movie and TV production deal at News Corp.’s Fox unit. He is expected to pursue that option, and may pursue other activities as well, according to the LA Times story.