21st Century Fox, finally: What took 13 years?

21st Century Fox will be the new name of NewsCorp's entertainment arm, which will be separated from its newspaper and publishing business. So with 21st Century Fox on the way, what happens to 20th Century Fox? 

20th Century-Fox Film Corporation/AP/File
This 1977 publicity photo provided by 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation shows, from left, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill in a scene from the film, "Star Wars." NewsCorp's new entertainment arm will be called "21st Century Fox," but the film studio's name will not change.

Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp has finally answered a question that was last on our minds back when Y2K seemed like a real threat and the Backstreet Boys were at the height of their popularity: As the millennium turns, will 20th Century Fox have to change its name?

Until yesterday, the answer seemed to be no. The film studio that brought us “Star Wars,” “All About Eve,” “Home Alone,” and too many other iconic films to mention seemed perfectly content with it outdated moniker.

But now, 13 years after the fact, there is going to be a 21st Century Fox. Sort of. NewsCorp, the multimedia conglomerate owned by Rupert Murdoch, announced Tuesday that 21st Century Fox will be the new name of its media and entertainment arm, which will be comprised of the company’s individual movie studios and television networks (FOX, FOX News, FX, and many more).

“21st Century Fox is a name that draws upon the rich creative heritage of our film studio, while also speaking to the innovation and dynamism that define all of our global media and entertainment businesses and will guide us into the future,” Mr. Murdoch said in a company press release.

Last summer, pending approval, NewsCorp decided to split those businesses from its informational services, including its flagging newspapers, publishing, and real estate listings, among others.  That division includes the Wall Street Journal and HarperCollins.

So what happens to 20th Century Fox? It isn’t going anywhere.  21st Century Fox is simply the name for the multimedia parent company –the umbrella under which 20th Century Fox, along with NewsCorp's other entertainment brands, will be housed. The film and TV studios that use the 20th Century name have no plans to change, according to Deadline.com. Why? “Because the studios studied the situation and discovered that the name is one of the most recognizable in the world and has ‘real value’ and ‘positive association’ to the public, particularly overseas,” Deadline’s Nikki Fink writes.

An unnamed executive also told Fink that the 20th Century name had “long since lost the connection to the century. It’s a brand. It’s something that has lasted. The other company is brand new and begins in the 21st century.”

This seems logical enough. No word on whether or not Newscorp has plans for a “22nd Century Fox” venture to launch in 87 years.

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