Internet | November 7, 2017 9:38 am

21st Century Fox’s Selloff to Disney: Examining Its Potentially Massive Impact

"This is total surrender," Rupert Murdoch said of the proposed mega-deal.

CEO of 21st Century Fox James Murdoch
CEO of 21st Century Fox James Murdoch speaks at National Geographic's Further Front Event at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for National Geographic)

Recently, CNBC reported that that 21st Century Fox is in talks to sell most of itself to Disney. Disney would buy Fox’s movie studio, its TV show production, FX channels, and international assets such as Star and Sky, reports Vanity Fair

This deal would be a massive milestone in media and communications history. However, it would also mean the end of an empire that Rupert Murdoch, who is approaching 90-years-old, has been building for decades. Murdoch has been priming his sons, James and Lachlan, to take over the company since they were boys. Other executives have come and gone, often leaving the company because they realized they would never run it. Time and again, Rupert has made decisions based upon the goal of having his sons head up the company someday.

But it appears that his son James Murdoch is conflicted about inheriting his father’s legacy. While he desperately wants to please his father, James is also “defying some of his empire’s most identifiable parts,” writes Vanity Fair. James and his wife Kathryn Murdoch, recently launched Quadrivium, which focuses on supporting natural resources, science, childhood health, and equal opportunity. These causes don’t seem that controversial, except maybe to the heavily right-wing viewers of Murdoch’s cable network, Fox News. The couple also donated $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League in the wake of the neo-Nazi rallies in Charlottesville where one young counter-protestor was run down and killed by a member of the alt-right.

James and his older brother Lachlan also hired a law firm to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct at the company after former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson went public with her claims of being sexually harassed. This eventually led to Roger Ailes’ ouster. However, they did renew the contract of Fox News host Bill O’Reilly even after knowing he had made numerous, multi-milion dollar settlements with women for “sexual harassment and nonconsensual sex.”

Vanity Fair writes that maybe selling most of 21st Century Fox to Disney would help “James’s existential crisis.” In some ways, the deal would make sense, because 21st Century Fox would keep Fox Television and Fox News. But the founding father is not happy. “This is not a day of glory for the boys,” Rupert Murdoch told Vanity Fair. “This is total surrender.”