News Corp.'s Peter Chernin to inaugurate English department's alumni conversations

20 November 2008

Media executive Peter Chernin will be the guest speaker when the Department of English launches a new series of campus programs, "Conversations with Distinguished Alumni," on Monday, Dec. 1.

Chernin, who earned his undergraduate degree in English at Berkeley in 1974, is president and chief operating officer of News Corp., the world's largest media conglomerate, and chairman and CEO of The Fox Group.

His campus appearance will be a conversation with Professor Samuel Otter, incoming chair of the English department. The program will take place in the Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall, from 5 to 6 p.m. A reception and opportunity to meet Chernin will follow.

The new series of conversations will continue in the spring semester, with two sessions in the planning stages. Dates and speakers will be announced soon at

A New York native, Chernin returned there to become a book editor after graduating from Berkeley. He soon came back to California and launched his media career, which has included executive positions at Warner Books, St. Martin's Press, Lorimar Film Entertainment, Showtime and The Movie Channel, Fox Broadcasting Company, and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., among other companies.

He has been president and COO of News Corp. since 1996; the company's chairman, CEO, and founder is Rupert Murdoch. Among many successes, Chernin led News Corp.'s acquisition of MySpace, the social-networking site, and was instrumental in launching Hulu, the online video service that presents network TV shows and movies.

The English department event is open to the campus community; for details call 642-2770.