NEW YORK, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- News Corp. President Peter Chernin is leaving the company he helped build into a worldwide media powerhouse, at least two U.S. published reports said Monday.
Citing people familiar with the situation, the Los Angeles Times reported Chernin's departure was finalized during the weekend. Citing a person briefed on the matter, The New York Times said Monday Chernin was unable to come to terms on a new contract.
Chernin has told News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch he might leave when his current contract expires June 30, the LA Times said. The contract affords Chernin a movie and television production deal with the Fox unit of News Corp.
No successor is expected to be named right away. Murdoch, 77, is likely to assume some of Chernin's responsibilities -- including oversight of the corporation's film and television business, the LA Times said.
News Corp., like its media rivals, has been hammered during the economic downturn. Its stock price is down almost 70 percent from its 52-week high, the LA times noted -- an even worse drop than Time Warner Inc. and Walt Disney Co. shares have recorded.