21st Century Fox Inc., Rupert Murdoch’s entertainment company, is exploring a possible move from the New York headquarters it shares with News Corp., according to people familiar with the situation.
James Murdoch, co-chief operating officer and John Nallen, chief financial officer, are leading a review of Fox’s needs, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because no decisions have been made. The initiative is at an early stage and the company may decide to stay at its current midtown Manhattan location, the person said. Fox plans to stay in New York, the people said.
A move could take the separation of Murdoch’s two media companies a step further. Fox, the owner of Fox News, FX and a broadcast network, along with a Hollywood film and TV studio, stayed at 1211 Avenue of the Americas after the split last year. News Corp. and its two main publications, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, are also housed there.
The building, between 47th and 48th streets, sits diagonally across from Rockefeller Center. It’s owned by Beacon Capital Partners and a partnership of Ivanhoe Cambridge, the real estate unit of Canada’s second-largest pension-fund manager, and Callahan Capital Properties.
The current lease expires in 2020, according to Beacon’s website. The people didn’t say whether News Corp. is also considering a move.
Julie Henderson, a spokeswoman for Fox, declined to comment on any move, as did James Kennedy, a spokesman for News Corp.
Together, Fox and News Corp. occupy about half of the 44-floor 1211 Avenue of the Americas, which has almost 2 million square feet of space. The building houses News and the channel’s studios, with about 2,500 Fox employees.
The bulk of Fox’s U.S employees are based on the West Coast, including at its studio in the Century City neighborhood of Los Angeles. Fox had 27,000 employees globally as of June 30, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. News Corp. employed 22,000.
Together, the companies also occupy six floors of 1185 Avenue of the Americas, which is located between 46th and 47th streets.
Murdoch, 83, has consolidated News Corp.’s London operations to a single building, known as the Baby Shard, next to Europe’s tallest skyscraper, the Shard.
On Aug. 5, Fox withdrew its $85-a-share offer for Time Warner Inc., owner of the HBO and TNT cable channels and the Warner Bros. film studio. Murdoch and other Fox senior executives ruled out any large merger or acquisition plans in the wake of the bid collapse.
In January, Time Warner sold its headquarters space at Time Warner Center in New York City’s Columbus Circle for $1.3 billion to a group led by Related Cos., with plans to move to the developer’s Hudson Yards project on Manhattan’s west side.
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