21st Century Fox Reorganizes Government Relations

As part of a restructuring of the government relations department, Maureen O'Connell, senior VP, regulatory and public policy, government relations for 21st Century Fox in Washington, is exiting her post after 18 years. The news was announced in an internal memo from executive VP, government affairs, Mike Regan, which was circulated Wednesday and confirmed by a Fox spokesperson. O'Connell will be available to help during the transition.

In the wake of the company's global expansion -- most recently in Hong Kong and Brussels -- Kathy Ramsey, VP of government affairs, has been named senior VP and COO of government affairs.

VP and associate general counsel Jared Sher will assume much of O'Connell's portfolio of domestic and regulatory issues and represent the company before the FCC.

O'Connell's successes in that role included Fox's fight against FCC indecency rules, pushback on efforts to weaken retrans and helping shepherd various deals, including DirecTV and the Wall Street Journal purchase. A top News Corp. exec once dubbed O'Connell the "queen of indecency," a title she was said to relish. Regan thanked O'Connell for her "many contributions to our company."

"O'Connell is a consummate professional and a first rate lawyer," said one industry source who had heard of the possible reorganization. "I can't tell you how much Rupert [Murdoch], Chase [Carey], James [Murdoch], and I all appreciate her wisdom and guidance over nearly two decades in helping to shepherd the growth of our US properties," said Regan.

Also under the restructuring, senior VPs Rick Lane and David Fares will coordinate domestic and international policy.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.