The presence of Rupert Murdoch in Los Angeles to meet with executives of his Fox businesses has increased speculation that Peter Chernin, News Corp's president and COO, may be leaving the company, the Los Angeles Times reported today (Friday). The newspaper observed that last week, during a conference call at which Murdoch and Chernin discussed the company's $6.4-billion loss during its last quarter, "Chernin seemed to play a less prominent role that he has in the past." The Times further noted that when the subject of Chernin's contract came up, Murdoch remarked testily "Peter and I are continuing our conversations and they're private and that is all there is to it. ... Nothing more for me to say and we won't take any further questions on that. It is a confidential matter." The newspaper said that Chernin himself "has been particularly tightlipped about his plans."