In a meeting with employees earlier this week, Fox executive Peter Rice shared that Fox will be ready to merge with Disney on January 1, 2019. While this does not mean that the deal will actually close on January 1st, it does mean that the structure of New Fox will be ready to go on that date. This means that essential elements like human resources and payroll will be in place.

It is doubtful that the deal between Disney and Fox will close that early, however. There are still some regulatory processes that will be continuing beyond that date. It is expected that the deal will go through sometime during the first half of 2019.

When the deal does close, Rice is expected to join The Walt Disney Company as a TV executive. During the town hall meeting, Rice also addressed the uncertainty of the deal for Fox employees. With redundancies happening between the two companies, layoffs are expected. The question of culture was brought up and Rice noted the success that Disney has had before in absorbing companies while retaining their culture. Rice also shared that Disney is a company that was founded by an artist, rather than by a telephone or cable company.

The town hall meetings come after an announcement by Disney of how some of the corporate team will look once the merger has gone through.

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