Rupert Murdoch, the influential 92-year-old Australian media mogul, has announced his decision to step down as chairman of Fox and its parent company, News Corp. In a statement released on Thursday, Fox stated that Murdoch will assume the position of chairman emeritus, while his son Lachlan will become president of News Corp. and continue as CEO of Fox Corp.
Lachlan Murdoch expressed gratitude for his father’s continued involvement and stated, “we are grateful that he will be Chairman Emeritus and know that he will continue to offer valuable advice to both companies.”
Having founded the Fox network, which challenged the dominance of ABC, CBS, and NBC, Murdoch’s influence in American politics has been significant. He is also the owner of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post. Fox News Channel, in particular, has played a pivotal role in American politics since its establishment in 1996, amassing a devoted following while drawing both praise and criticism.
While Fox News has seen success over the years, it has faced challenges recently. The network had to pay $787 million to settle a defamation lawsuit related to its coverage of false allegations following the 2020 presidential election. Additionally, it made headlines when it parted ways with one of its most popular journalists, Tucker Carlson.
In a letter to employees, Murdoch promised his continued involvement at Fox. He stated, “In my new role, I can guarantee you that I will participate daily in the confrontation of ideas… I will be an active member of our community.”
The timing of Murdoch’s announcement raised speculations, as it coincides with the celebration of Author’s Week in the United States, and the release of Michael Wolff’s book, “The End of Fox News.” The book explores the future of the network after Murdoch’s departure and speculates about its potential changes.
Murdoch’s remarkable journey from inheriting his father’s diary in Adelaide, Australia, to building a media empire and becoming a billionaire has been well-documented. Forbes estimated the Murdoch family’s net worth at $19 billion in 2020.
Although Murdoch never pursued public office, politicians in both the United States and Britain actively sought his support.
As Rupert Murdoch steps down from his role as chairman, his departure marks the end of an era for Fox and News Corp, leaving many wondering how the network will navigate the future without its patriarch’s leadership.