Rupert Murdoch Steps Down as Chairman of Fox and News Corp, Son Lachlan to Succeed Him
Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has announced that he will be stepping down as the chairman of Fox and News Corp, with his son Lachlan Murdoch set to take over the reins. In an email sent to staff, the 92-year-old media mogul stated that it was time for him to move into a “different role.” Murdoch founded Fox News in 1996, which has become the most-watched television news channel in the United States. He will become honorary chairman of both companies in mid-November.
Lachlan Murdoch, 52, is the eldest son of Rupert Murdoch and has been involved in the family business for many years. He previously held senior positions within the group, but left in 2005 after a dispute with then-Fox News boss Roger Ailes. However, he returned in 2014 and has since held senior positions within the media empire. James Murdoch, another child of Rupert Murdoch, resigned from the company’s board of directors in 2020 due to disagreements over editorial content and dissatisfaction with the company’s direction.
The transition of management rights comes at a challenging time for Fox Group. The company recently agreed to pay a settlement of $787.5 million (£6.34 million) in response to a lawsuit filed by voting machine company Dominion over the group’s coverage of the 2020 presidential election. Additionally, the company is facing another similar lawsuit filed by Smartmatic, seeking damages of up to $2.7 billion. The departure of top-rated news anchor Tucker Carlson in April this year has also raised questions about the future direction of Fox News.
Media personality Michael Wolff is set to release a new book titled “The Wolff Quest: Fox News and the End of the Murdoch Dynasty,” which is expected to shed light on the inner workings of the Murdoch family and their media empire. Another book by CNN reporter Brian Stelter, focusing on the Murdoch family, is also set to be published in November.
Despite these challenges, Rupert Murdoch remains optimistic about the future of the company. In his letter to staff, he stated that the company is in good shape and that he plans to continue participating in its growth. Lachlan Murdoch expressed his gratitude for his father’s guidance and stated that he will continue to provide valuable advice to both companies.
Rupert Murdoch’s media career has had its share of ups and downs. While he has built a vast media empire encompassing newspapers, television networks, and other media organizations, he has faced setbacks such as the failed acquisition of social media site MySpace and the scandal surrounding the wiretapping activities of the now-defunct News of the World newspaper.
As Lachlan Murdoch takes the helm, he will have to navigate the challenges posed by the changing media landscape and the controversial legacy of Fox News. He will also have to address governance and editorial concerns within the company. The future of the Murdoch dynasty and the assets built by Rupert Murdoch remains uncertain, as his transfer of shares to his adult children may lead to potential disputes in the future.