News Corp announced Thursday that veteran communications advisor Arthur Bochner will become chief communications officer and executive vice president, following the retirement later this year of longtime spokesperson Jim Kennedy.
Bochner, who has spent the past decade at Disney, will join News Corp — parent of the New York Post, Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones — this month, working with Kennedy and his team during the transition.
“Arthur has vast and valuable experience at the highest levels of business and government, which will enable him to play a vital role in News Corp’s continuing growth,” said News Corp CEO Robert Thomson.
“With a strategic sensibility, savvy messaging skills, and a collaborative character, Arthur is a worthy successor to our friend and colleague, Jim Kennedy, as he transitions to a well-deserved retirement this year.”
Bochner’s decade at Disney included overseeing strategic communications and serving as chief of staff in the office of the CEO. He also held key communications roles in the media and entertainment giant’s consumer products and theme park segments.
Prior to Disney, the exec held communications roles at Bloomberg, Citigroup and FD Public Affairs.
“News Corp is home to some of the most iconic brands in media, and I am thrilled to join the company’s leadership team at this exciting time of transformation,” Bochner said.
“Few companies can match the reach and impact of News Corp, and it is an honor to help tell the company’s story. Jim has left big shoes to fill, and I am looking forward to collaborating with him during this transition.”
Kennedy, who joined News Corp in 2013, announced his retirement plans last October. He was the first chief communications officer for the “new” News Corp, which was formed following a spin-off of the original News Corporation as 21st Century Fox.
During his career, Kennedy spent five decades as a spokesman and speechwriter in Washington DC, Hollywood and New York.
He worked for President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, and headed communications for Sens. Hillary Clinton and Joe Liberman, as well as the Clinton Foundation, Sony Pictures and Sony Corporation of America.
“Jim has been a constant source of sagacity and helped define the epochal issues confronting all media,” Thomson said. “His commitment to protecting and projecting journalism and content creation was crucial as we engaged the digital platforms. News Corp is the global leader in the digital debate and Jim has been absolutely crucial in fashioning our successful strategy.”
Kennedy added: “This post at News Corp marks the longest I have spent in one job in one place, and that has only been possible thanks to the people I work for and with. I deeply appreciate having had the chance to serve Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch and my beneficent boss, Robert Thomson.”
“My small-but-mighty team and I are excited to partner with Arthur in the months ahead, and I know he will do a great job in spreading the news about News Corp far and wide,” Kennedy concluded.
Bochner is moving from Los Angeles to New York with his family and will be based at News Corp headquarters at 1211 Avenue of the Americas.