During a sit-down conversation at a conference hosted Tuesday by the Latino Donor Collaborative, 21st Century Fox Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch sat down with LDC Co-Founder and Chairman Sol Trujillo to discuss a wide range of topics. The discussion, titled “The Latino Imperative: The News Media Reflects and Projects on Latinos’ Place in Post-Election America,” took place at the Morgan Stanley headquarters in Manhattan in front of a small audience. It was an opportunity for Lachlan to talk about the company’s endeavors to ensure that its creative output reflects the diverse communities its viewers live in.
Calling 21CF the most global media company today, Lachlan described the way the company sees all the markets its content reaches. “We don’t think of it as, ‘The U.S. is our domestic market and other markets are foreign.’ We actually try to think about and manage the business as multiple local markets.”
Combined with hiring creative teams that represent the unique audiences they serve, this ensures that 21CF preserves a keen sense of diversity specific to those regions of the world.
“We don’t have worldview where New York or Los Angeles sends out programming messages or makes decisions centrally. We’re a very decentralized, global company, and that’s worked well for us,” Lachlan told Sol.
Lachlan also discussed the various initiatives 21CF started to give writers and directors of diverse backgrounds opportunities to establish careers in 21CF’s businesses and elsewhere, emphasizing the need for diversity behind the camera. These include the FOX Writers Intensive and the Fox Global Directors Initiative.
“In many cases, we take that talent and use them on our own shows,” Lachlan said. “But in some cases, someone else in the industry might pick up that talent and their shows, and that’s fantastic.”
These initiatives have helped FX Networks and FX Productions CEO John Landgraf fulfill his commitment to bring the percentage of FX’s directors being women or people of color from 12 percent to 51 percent within just a year; they also helped producer Ryan Murphy to do the same.
“They’re able to make good on [those commitments] because over the last several years, we’ve made strides in developing the talent to fill those spots,” Lachlan said.
The Latino Donor Collaborative, founded in 2010, aims to advance an accurate perception, portrayal and understanding of the contributions Latinos make to American society. The nonprofit promotes dialogue between people in media, advertising, politics and other realms of society to confront stereotypes with research data.