Rupert Murdoch’s No. 2 is in the midst of contract renegotiations. Which is always a good time to talk publicly about how you’re thinking of doing something else.
LA Times: New Corp.’s Peter Chernin is wrestling over whether to surrender one of the biggest jobs in entertainment.
For the last 12 years, Chernin has been president and chief operating officer of News Corp. and helped his boss, Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch, reshape the global media empire. But at 57, he’s not sure whether to extend his contract for an additional two or three years, or embark on another, less certain, chapter in his career.
Executives within News Corp. say they aren’t sure whether Chernin will stay.
Last week, when asked during an earnings conference call with investors and analysts to characterise the status of his contract talks, Chernin initially demurred, then allowed that they were “constructive.” Murdoch quickly jumped in. “I would characterise them as constructive and friendly,” Murdoch said…Chernin is not interested in signing another five-year contract, which expires in June, according to people close to him.Instead, Chernin has told friends that if he’s going to start something new, now is the time — before he turns 60. Others, however, interpret his Hamlet-like equivocation as a cagey bargaining ploy.
Chernin declined to comment on the negotiations. But people close to him believe that he will eventually sign a two- to three-year deal.
His decision may be tempered by new realities. The business climate has dramatically changed since he signed his last deal four years ago. There are few if any high-level openings at comparable companies. Investment money, which could back him in a new venture, has dried up. And by all accounts he relishes his job.
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