Fox in fresh talks to sell Sky stake to Disney, reports claim

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The Walt Disney Company is giving serious thought to appointing James Murdoch as its next CEO, providing the Mouse House closes a deal for 21 Century Fox's entertainment arm.

Disney is close to a deal with 21st Century Fox, CNBC reported Tuesday.

According to a report in the Financial Times, James Murdoch is likely to take a senior executive role with Disney because of his knowledge of the Fox assets and the global TV market. Fox is also talking with CNBC parent company Comcast, but the talks with Disney have progressed more significantly.

Comcast Corp., which owns NBCUniversal in Universal City, also figured as a potential buyer for Fox's media assets, Reuters said.

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As part of the deal, the Fox cable news channels, the main Fox sports channel, and the FOX broadcast network would be spun off into a new company, to be controlled by the Rupert Murdoch family.

Fox shares rose 3.2 percent in morning trade, while Disney fell 2 percent.

The fresh talks of a deal cast doubt on Fox's £11.7bn bid to buy the remaining portion of Sky it does not already own, which is now facing scrutiny by the competition watchdog.

In September the media secretary, Karen Bradley, asked the regulator to examine whether Murdoch had a genuine commitment to broadcasting standards following concerns about the running of his U.S. Fox News network.