Rupert Murdoch 'preparing to stand down as chief executive of 21st Century Fox'

Rupert Murdoch is reportedly preparing to stand down as chief executive of media giant Twenty First Century Fox and hand over the role to his son James.

The 84-year-old media mogul – who owns a controlling stake in Fox – will remain as executive chairman of the group as part of the reorganisation that could take place later this year or early in 2016, according to CNBC.

It is also understood that Murdoch's son Lachlan will become executive co-chairman of the company.

CNBC said an announcement was expected soon, citing sources close to the Murdoch family.

Its report said the Fox management reshuffle will also see chief operating officer Chase Carey step down and take on a role as adviser to the company.

It is expected that James Murdoch will take on the day-to-day management, but work closely with his brother Lachlan and father.

Fox was not immediately available for comment.

James Murdoch has been acting as co-chief operating officer at Fox, having previously headed BSkyB.

A source told CNBC: "James will have the primary role in running Fox while Lachlan will take on a broader strategic role from his co-chairman position."

Murdoch – who has six children – controls 39.4 per cent of the voting shares at Fox through the Murdoch Family Trust.

He is also chairman of News Corp, which owns the Times and Sun newspapers, as well as the Wall Street Journal and New York Post in America.

News Corp and Fox demerged in June 2013.

News Corp purchased Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation in 1985 and, alongside the studios, it has also since become a leading television and news network in the US.

Fox is the major shareholder in BSkyB.

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