Murdoch Family Gets Pay Raises Before Fox/Disney Deal

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

The Murdoch family – namely Rupert, Lachlan, and James – receive big raises on the eve of turning over part of their 20th Century Fox empire over to the Walt Disney Company, Variety reported Friday.

The $71.3 billion acquisition does not include Fox News and Fox Broadcasting, which will form another company, which has been called the “new Fox,” the celebrity publication stated.

In a public proxy filing, according to Variety, Fox directors said they made the raises because the family was “critical to the completion” of the Disney deal and praised the trio for a “strong company performance during a time of substantial change.”

The increases included, according to the company’s public filing via Variety:

*Rupert Murdoch, co-executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, going from $29.3 million to $49.2 million in salary, bonuses, and other rewards. Twenty-First Century Fox includes 20th Century Fox, FX, and the Nat Geo channels.

*Lachlan Murdoch, co-executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, going from $20.6 million to $50.7 million. Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch will oversee the “new Fox,” according to Variety.

*James Murdoch, 21st Century Fox chief executive, going from $20.3 million to $50.3 million, per Variety.

(L to R) Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corp and chairman of Fox News, and Lachlan Murdoch, co-chairman of 21st Century Fox, walk together as they arrive on the third day of the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 13, 2017 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

The celebrity publication noted that while 21st Century Fox missed out on nabbing European television king Sky, the company got the next best thing, selling its 39 percent stake in it to Comcast for $15 billion, Variety reported.

The website The Verge reported that Comcast this week outbid Fox to win the rights to European broadband provider for $38.8 billion. With Fox’s minority share now in hand, Comcast will have full control of the United Kingdom broadcaster, per the website.

The Murdoch family had long coveted Sky and had hoped to win the rights for it before Comcast’s bid. Comcast was also in a battle with Disney this year to purchases Fox’s assets that were eventually won by the Mouse, The Verge stated.

The website reported that Sky will give Comcast, the cable giant that already owns NBC and Universal, a healthy block of the European television market as it looks to expand in the shadow of the Disney.

The bad news is, according to Bloomberg News, that media investors had estimated the company to be worth only half of the $39 million Comcast paid for it when it first went on sale in 2016. Wall Street has initially agreed with that sentiment with Comcast shares falling eight percent after the deal was announced, Bloomberg reported.

Sky has about 23 million customers, mostly in the U.K. and Ireland, allowing Comcast to nearly double its customer base in one deal, per Bloomberg. But it also loaded Comcast with $100 billion in debt as well, the media outlet stated.