Rupert Murdoch Resigns as Chairman of Fox and News Corp.
Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul who co-founded and led companies like Fox Corp. and News Corp., is stepping down as chairman of the board for both entities, marking a significant transition in the media landscape. This change is set to take effect in November, with the 92-year-old Murdoch being appointed chairman emeritus of both companies.
In this shift of leadership, one of Murdoch's sons, Lachlan Murdoch, will assume the role of sole chairman of News Corp. while retaining his position as Fox Corp.'s executive chair and CEO. Rupert Murdoch, in a note to employees, expressed confidence in the companies' robust health and his own well-being, signaling optimism about the future.
This decision comes amid a turbulent period for Fox Corp., particularly in its TV network division. The company recently settled a $787.5 million defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems, stemming from false claims made about the 2020 presidential election.
During the lawsuit, Rupert Murdoch's continued involvement in Fox News operations came under scrutiny, with some anchors accused of perpetuating baseless election-related claims.
Rupert Murdoch's departure is a significant development in the media landscape, as it coincides with the upcoming U.S. presidential election year. News Corp. owns prominent newspapers like The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, while Fox Corp. is the parent company of right-leaning TV networks, including Fox News and Fox Business.
Murdoch's media career spanned nearly seven decades, starting in 1954 when he assumed control of News Ltd., a company that owned a newspaper in Adelaide, Australia. He expanded his media empire, which included newspapers in the UK and the U.S. In the 1980s, he ventured into television, acquiring a stake in Twentieth Century Fox and launching the Fox News Channel in 1996, which became a top-rated cable network.
Rupert Murdoch's influence on the media landscape has been profound, shaping the way news and entertainment are delivered and consumed. His role as a key figure in the industry has been the subject of books and even inspired the HBO series "Succession."
Last year, there were discussions about potentially reuniting Fox and News Corp., a move aimed at streamlining leadership and reducing costs amid changes in media consumption habits. However, Murdoch decided against the merger in January.
The Murdoch family holds a substantial stake in both companies, controlling around 40% of the voting rights. Rupert Murdoch's wealth is estimated to exceed $17 billion as of 2023.
Fox Corp., with a market capitalization of over $15.5 billion, continues to focus on news, sports, and its ad-supported streaming platform Tubi, rather than entering the direct-to-consumer subscription streaming market. News Corp. has a market capitalization of more than $11 billion.
As Rupert Murdoch steps back from his leadership roles, his influence and legacy in the media industry will continue to be a subject of interest and discussion.