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Rupert Murdoch hands CEO job at Fox to son James but stays as co-Chairman

Media magnate Rupert Murdoch is passing the top job at American multinational mass entertainment corporation 21st Century Fox to his son James. Murdoch and his other son Lachlan will become co-chairmen.

James Murdoch (photo left) will become chief executive of the media and entertainment business on July 1, the company confirmed Tuesday.

Murdoch's other son Lachlan, currently co-chairman of the company, will be made executive co-chairman alongside his 84-year-old father, who will take the same title. Rupert Murdoch controls Fox through a trust that owns 39 percent of the voting shares.

"It has always been our priority to ensure stable, long-term leadership for the company, and these appointments achieve that goal," Rupert Murdoch said in a statement.

James Murdoch, 42, is currently co-chief operating officer at 21st Century Fox. He will report jointly to his father and the board of directors. Lachlan, 43, will report to the board, which includes his father.

The company's units include 21st Century Fox, which spans Fox News, X-Men film studio 20th Century Fox, and a joint venture TV production group behind programs such as MasterChef, Big Brother and American Idol. It also owns 40 percent of the UK's Sky television.

In a joint statement, Lachlan and James said: "We are both humbled by the opportunity to lead, with our father and the talented team of executives at 21st Century Fox, this extraordinary company."

Chase Carey, the company's 61-year-old deputy chairman and chief operating officer since 2009, will give up both posts to become executive vice chairman through June 30, 2016, when his contract ends. Carey will spend his next year at the company supporting James and Lachlan in their new positions.

The New York based 21st Century Fox entertainment business was split from Murdoch's publishing empire News Corp two years ago.

News Corp owns titles such as the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times in the UK and the Wall Street Journal in the US. Former editor of the Times Robert Thomson is chief executive of News Corp and Rupert Murdoch is executive chairman.

jm/bw (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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