Rupert Murdoch steps down as Fox and News Corp chairman

Media mogul, 92, hands over leadership to son Lachlan

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch announced he is stepping down as chairman of Fox and News Corp. PA
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Media magnate Rupert Murdoch on Thursday announced he is stepping down as chairman of Fox Corporation and News Corp.

In a memo to employees, Mr Murdoch said he would assume the role of “chairman emeritus” of the two companies.

“For my entire professional life, I have been engaged daily with news and ideas,” he wrote in the memo, according to Fox News.

Mr Murdoch, 92, said he would make the move in November and that he remains in good health.

His son, Lachlan Murdoch, will become sole chairman of News Corp and continue as executive chairman and chief executive of Fox.

The decision also answers some questions over his succession plan. Mr Murdoch has wanted his children to eventually take control of his media empire.

His other son, James, was chief executive of 21st Century Fox before the company sold its TV assets to Disney for $71.3 billion in 2019.

It has been suggested the Murdoch family is the model on which the HBO TV series Succession is based.

“On behalf of the Fox and News Corp boards of directors, leadership teams, and all the shareholders who have benefited from his hard work, I congratulate my father on his remarkable 70-year career,” Lachlan Murdoch said in a statement.

His father also said that Fox and News Corp were in “robust health”.

In January, he withdrew a plan to reunite the two companies.

In April, Fox settled a defamation case for $787.5 million after voting machine company Dominion accused the media company of knowingly spreading misinformation about the 2020 US presidential election results.

In a deposition, he acknowledged some Fox News presenters endorsed former president Donald Trump's false claims that the election was rigged.

However, Mr Murdoch, who also owns The Wall Street Journal and New York Post, rejected suggestions that Fox News endorsed the claims.

Mr Murdoch's empire was built from the beginnings of his media career in Australia after he inherited a newspaper from his father.

Updated: September 21, 2023, 4:00 PM