Janet Nova Named Deputy Group General Counsel of 21st Century Fox

By Aditi Mukherji, JD on June 18, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

News Corporation announced that Janet Nova, the Company’s Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, will be elevated to Executive Vice President and Deputy Group General Counsel for 21st Century Fox, the media and entertainment entity to launch following the separation of the company into two independent, publicly traded companies, reports The Wall Street Journal.

You might recall when she assisted Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch and his son, Deputy Chief Operating Officer James Murdoch, with a committee hearing before the British Parliament in the summer of 2011 on the News Corp. hacking scandal. She’s the unsung hero who protected Murdoch from the infamous pie-thrower.

The pie paid off.

New Role

In her new legal role, Nova will oversee the company's M&A activity, capital markets transactions, and SEC and stock exchange reporting, and advise the company's Board committees. She will continue to report to Gerson Zweifach, the Senior Executive Vice President, Group General Counsel, and Chief Compliance Officer for 21st Century Fox.

"Janet's elevation is a testament to the significant contributions she has made to the company over her distinguished tenure as well as to her exceptional talents as a legal executive," said Mr. Zweifach. "News Corporation has benefited from her judgment, insight and guidance on a range of critical issues, including the separation of our businesses, and I am confident she will be a driving force for 21st Century Fox."

For at least the next year, Zweifach will fill the dual role as general counsel for 21st Century Fox as well as for News Corp., the soon-to-be publishing entity.

The News Corp. and 21st Century Fox Split

Nova is stepping into her new role in a time of great transition for the company. She will need some situational awareness.

The Rupert Murdoch-controlled company is poised this month to divide into two publicly traded companies, reports the Los Angeles Times. 21st Century Fox gets the lucrative TV networks, including Fox, FX, Fox News Channel and regional sports networks, and the 20th Century Fox movie and television production studios.

The spinoff publishing company, which will take the name News Corp., will consist of the HarperCollins book publishing house and dozens of newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, the Australian and Times of London.

Nova has weathered many a storm at the News Corp. General Counsel's office. She was there, working under Zweifach, during the company's slew of legal problems, including lawsuit settlements and a corruption probe by the U.S. Department of Justice, stemming from the costly cell phone hacking scandal at the former London tabloid, the News of the World.

Nova served as interim general counsel for about seven months during a tumultuous period following the departure of former general counsel, Lawrence A. Jacobs, right before the hacking scandal exploded.

Before joining News Corp. in 1997, Nova worked at the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, where she was an associate in the firm's corporate and securities practice.

I think we can all be pretty sure that she won't be celebrating her new gig with a slice of pie.

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