Peter Chernin, the highly regarded president of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and the executive who has paved the way for the global media giant on Wall Street and in Hollywood, is leaving the company, according to people familiar with the situation.
No immediate successor will be named. Instead, Murdoch, 77, is expected to pick up many of the duties handled by Chernin, including oversight of News Corp.'s Fox movie and television operations.
Chernin's departure, which was finalized over the weekend, comes at a vulnerable time for News Corp., which like other media companies has been affected by the recession and a decline in advertising revenue. News Corp.'s stock is off almost 70% from its 52-week high, a steeper decline than that suffered by media rivals Time Warner Inc. and Walt Disney Co. Investors have reacted negatively to Murdoch's purchase of Dow Jones & Co., owner of the Wall Street Journal, which has seen its advertising plummet.