Five key quotes from 21CF’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders: the road to success, Disney transaction, establishing new FOX, industry transformation

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Yesterday, 21st Century Fox held its Annual Meeting of Stockholders at the Zanuck Theater on the FOX Lot, expected to be its last such meeting pending the anticipated close of its transaction with Disney in the first half of 2019. The meeting was chaired by Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch, who praised Rupert, saying, “It began with my father’s unwavering belief in the power of innovation and consumer choice. He has always had a passion for engaging audiences with stories and experiences that endure, but perhaps the most enduring story is his own.” He also recognized James, noting that “21CF has pushed the envelope of international expansion with Sky and STAR under James’ great stewardship.”

Lachlan also spoke about the many ways in which the company has transformed the industry and the bright future ahead for the new FOX and the 21CF brands going to Disney. Some key comments from Lachlan are below:

On the future of FOX: “The company we are creating, FOX, will be an aggressive challenger with bold ideas and the capability to be agile in an increasingly complex marketplace. FOX will be America’s media company, offering programming the country wants most. Recently, one night, FOX captured more than 70% of live national news and sports viewers during prime time with its unbeatable combination of programming in both categories…. FOX’s assets will allow us to navigate industry challenges and take a new approach to new opportunities. We have always been and will continue to be a strategically bold, transformational media company. Defying expectations and performing well is at the core of who we are.”

On the rationale for the Disney transaction and establishing the new FOX: “So, having built this truly unique company, what brought us to sell now? Well, our belief that Disney can monetize our entertainment assets more efficiently than we can alone, and that our domestic U.S. news, sports, broadcast stations and network business will further thrive under the focused strategy and management of new Fox… we are tremendously excited about our future; about the creation of these two exciting new companies: the expanded Disney and the new FOX.”

On 21CF’s achievements: “Our film studio has…created films like Avatar, Die Hard, X-Men, Life of Pi, Planet of the Apes, Slumdog Millionaire, Ice Age, Titanic, Home Alone, and many more. Our television studio has mirrored that success with hits like The X-Files, The Simpsons, Glee, Modern Family, Family Guy, Homeland and 24…. In 1994 FX was launched and delivered some of TV’s hottest shows, like The Shield, Fargo, Sons of Anarchy, American Horror Story and The Americans. And just two years later we launched Fox News, creating a ratings juggernaut with millions of households trusting us to deliver the most valuable and most watched journalism on television…. Further afield 21CF has pushed the envelope of international expansion with Sky and STAR under James’ great stewardship. Our programming efforts now extend to more than 150 countries. From the explorations of the National Geographic Channels, to baseball in Japan, football in Argentina, and Kabadi and IPL in India, our commitment to global audiences endures.”

On the people who’ve made the company’s success possible: “I want to thank all of our colleagues across decades and continents, whose hard work has contributed to the creation of our great brands; producing enormous shareholder value and paving an exciting path forward. I want to thank James, and our board for their insights and their leadership, as well as my father, for his unique vision and unwavering commitment to building this company…. People who know him know that he is a journalist at heart with unbounded curiosity, which combined with his unique business instinct, has formed the foundation of this company.”

On what’s ahead for 21CF’s brands and businesses: “…we are tremendously excited about our future; about the creation of these two exciting new companies: the expanded Disney and the new Fox…. We believe strongly that the course we have set for our businesses will continue that value creation far into the future.”

The November 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders is archived and available for playback