Peter Chernin, president and chief operating officer of News Corp., has signed on for five more years, ending industry speculation that he would depart to run a competitor. "Peter is respected throughout our company and the industry for his intelligence, drive and leadership," says News Corp. founder and Chairman Rupert Murdoch in a statement.
Murdoch recently gave sons James and Lachlan key roles in the company, leading industry observers to wonder whether Chernin would go elsewhere in search of a bigger job. The Walt Disney Co. was considered a possible destination, after Disney chief Michael Eisner spent the first half of this year fighting off opposition to his leadership.
Chernin’s contract was set to expire in November. He joined News Corp. in 1989 as president of entertainment, overseeing Fox when such hits as The Simpsons, Beverly Hills 90210 and In Living Color emerged. He then was president of Fox Filmed Entertainment from 1992 to ’96, with blockbusters Titanic, Independence Day and Speed produced on his watch. Chernin has been in his current post since 1996.