News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch has instigated a huge shake-up at the Los Angeles-based Fox businesses in the wake of COO Peter Chernin's departure.

Effective immediately, the Los Angeles-based creative production divisions will be combined under a single unit reporting to Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairmen Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman, while Fox Searchlight chief Peter Rice leaves the division to become Fox Broadcasting chairman of entertainment.

Twentieth Century Fox Television chairmen Gary Newman and Dana Walden will report to Gianopulos and Rothman. Fox Television Studios president Emiliano Calemzuk will report to Newman and Walden.

On the television network side, Fox Networks Group chairman Tony Vinciquerra will continue to head the cable networks, the business aspects of Fox Broadcasting and Fox International Channels, and will oversee Fox Broadcasting programming.

Rice replaces Fox Broadcasting chairman of entertainment Peter Liguori and will report to Vinciquerra. Fox Searchlight's marketing chief Nancy Utley and distribution head Steve Gilula will jointly run the division, reporting to Gianopulos and Rothman and are not expected to make way for a single replacement. Production president Claudia Lewis remains in place.

'We have - simply put - the best management team in the entertainment industry,' Murdoch said. 'Today's restructuring, by removing barriers between businesses, will enable us to better share ideas and resources, allowing us to make the most of this team and the talent that populates our ranks.

'Peter Liguori has been an outstanding Fox executive, not only in leading FBC for three seasons, but in his groundbreaking programming that helped build FX into a general entertainment leader. We wish him continued success,'

Murdoch continued: 'Peter Rice is one of our most talented creative executives, having championed such films as Slumdog Millionaire, Little Miss Sunshine, and Juno during his tenure at Fox Searchlight. As we increasingly look to apply unconventional approaches to our traditional businesses, I'm convinced Peter Rice is the right person to transform our broadcast television business.'

Gianopulos, Rothman, and Vinciquerra will report directly to Murdoch. Peter Levinsohn, president of Fox Interactive Media, will also report directly to Murdoch.

Roger Ailes, the chairman and CEO of FOX News Channel and Fox Business Network and chairman of the Fox Television Stations and Twentieth Television, will continue to report to Murdoch