21CF internal memo from Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch and CEO James Murdoch on fiscal 2016


Yesterday, 21st Century Fox announced its fiscal year and Q4 2016 financial results. Shortly after the company’s earnings were announced, Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch and CEO James Murdoch sent this internal memo to 21CF colleagues and colleagues across all its global businesses:


As we formally close our 2016 Fiscal Year, we want to take a few minutes to reflect on our accomplishments. We also want to look ahead. While there is still much to be done, the work that we have all done together moves us forward in significant ways.

Today we announced a solid Fiscal Year performance. We reported sustained increases in affiliate revenues, our largest and most predictable source of revenue, as well as a solid year for advertising. This reflects the value of the work we have done to bolster our global video brands. Despite continued foreign exchange challenges, and an overall weak financial performance at our film studio, we grew our adjusted EBITDA and revenues for the year.

Every day we aspire to make better things, do better for our customers, partners, shareholders, and for you, our colleagues. While this has always been so, the drive for progress takes on more urgency given the pace of transformation around us.

The strengthening of our core brands has been at the center of our agenda. We want to ensure our brands, and the storytelling, sports and news that power them, are integral to new services as they proliferate. We also want to enable a customer experience for our viewers that is simple and great.

Over the last 12 months, we have seen real progress. Our video brands now underpin multiple emerging streaming platforms, including Hulu’s upcoming live and on-demand service, which is core to our efforts to innovate for customers. We want to be flexible in our approach. We want to make our content more available, not less, and encourage more discovery and more consumption overall.

Internationally, we have continued to grow the number of households that enjoy our programming. We are well positioned to benefit from strong pay-TV and digital growth in international markets like India, where we are setting the pace of innovation with our mobile-first platform hotstar.

A world of exploding options for customers means what we create becomes more valuable. We are proud of our deep partnerships with many of the world’s best creators. Supporting and bringing their visions to life, we again have demonstrated our ability to consistently create storytelling that delivers for audiences.

We want to ensure we are structured the right way for the future and best positioned to capture opportunities. We’ve been busy here, too.

Together we’ve restructured the leadership team at Fox Networks Group, embarked on leadership transition at the film studio, streamlined the cost base across the business, completed the integration of the three Skys, completed the integration of the newly acquired National Geographic businesses, completed the acquisition and integration of Maa TV, and completed and integrated Shine into the new Endemol Shine Group.

We know this asked a lot of many of you and we appreciate what you did to move us all forward as an organization.

We want to say a few words about Fox News, which has been the news in recent weeks. Two weeks ago we accepted Roger Ailes’ resignation following a claim of sexual harassment. We moved quickly and decisively and we’re continuing to take the matter very seriously.

The culture of 21CF is built on the values of trust and respect, and we are deeply committed to ensuring that these principles are adhered to, without exception.

This past year has been a time of extraordinary change. While there is a lot of commentary on the future of our industry, we are confident that this is a time of great opportunity. In fact, in an era of constant change, our disdain for the status quo is our greatest strength. So over the next year, we want to push the velocity of change to spur more innovation, take more creative risks and continue to make 21CF a place where our colleagues can thrive.

Thank you for everything you do.