Rupert Murdoch, the 84-year old CEO and controlling shareholder of 21st Century Fox, is preparing to step down as CEO of the media giant and hand that title to his son James, numerous sources close to the Murdoch family told CNBC.com.
An announcement is expected in the near term, although it's unclear whether the reorganization would take place this year or at the start of 2016. Murdoch will continue to be the executive chairman of Fox, while his son Lachlan would also become an executive co-chairman of the company.
As part of the management reordering at Fox, COO Chase Carey will step down from that role and take on a yet undefined role as an adviser at the company. Carey, who did not return a call for comment, was widely expected to exercise his right to an early release from his current contract, allowing him to leave the company, which he joined in 2009, at the end of this year. Now, sources tell CNBC, he is likely to remain in some capacity through 2016.
While James Murdoch would take over the day to day management of Fox, he will work in tandem with his 43 year old brother Lachlan and his father. Sources who have spoken with the Murdochs in recent weeks tell me they have shared their plans openly and describe the Murdoch brothers new roles as a "partnership".
A Fox spokesperson said that the matter of succession is on the board of director's agenda at its next regularly scheduled meeting and declined further comment.