FOX SPLIT INTO 2 UNITS SPARKS SALHANY'S EXIT

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News Corp. last week reorganized its Fox Inc. unit into two separate operating divisions, a move that precipitated the resignation of Lucie Salhany as chairwoman of Fox Broadcasting Co.

Her resignation wasn't a surprise. Senior Fox executives said there had been growing tension between Ms. Salhany and other senior Fox executives, including News Corp. Chairman-CEO Rupert Murdoch.

But Fox insiders described the split as "an amicable divorce."

Ms. Salhany was Fox chairwoman for 18 months. Prior to that, she headed Twentieth Television.

While News Corp. planned to phase out Ms. Salhany's chairwoman post in the restructuring, Mr. Murdoch is said to have offered her other opportunities to stay and even proposed backing her in an entrepreneurial venture, but Ms. Salhany declined.

Where Ms. Salhany, the only woman ever to run a major broadcast network, will go is unclear, but speculation has centered heavily on CBS.

Ms. Salhany was unavailable for comment, but she's said to have close ties to Howard Stringer, current president of the CBS Broadcast Group, and QVC Chairman Barry Diller. Mr. Diller would become president-CEO of CBS Inc. if its proposed merger deal with QVC goes through.

However, a close associate of Ms. Salhany said her ties to Mr. Diller have been exaggerated and that there's talk Ms. Salhany may be considering a senior post at Walt Disney Co., possibly heading up its Buena Vista Television unit.

At Fox, her duties have been split up in the reorganization.

Peter Chernin, chairman of Twentieth Century Fox, adds oversight of Twentieth Television's network TV production. Peter Roth, president of network production for Twentieth Television, reports to Mr. Chernin.

Chase Carey, exec VP-chief operating officer of Fox Inc., becomes chairman-CEO of the Fox Television division, which includes Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox Television Stations, Twentieth Television's domestic syndication unit and fX, the new cable channel.

The reorganization is a signal of Mr. Carey's increasing power within Fox. Mr. Carey, who is one of Mr. Murdoch's closest aides, was most responsible for Fox acquiring NFL TV rights.

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