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Rupert Murdoch announces transition to new role of Chairman Emeritus of Fox Corporation and News Corp.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is stepping down as chairman of Fox Corporation and executive chairman of News Corp, he announced Thursday.

Murdoch, 92, informed his colleagues in a letter Thursday of his decision, emphasizing that he was in good health. He will officially make the transition in November and his son Lachlan will become the sole chairman of both companies.

“I am writing to let you all know that I have decided to transition into the role of Chairman Emeritus of Fox and News,” Murdoch wrote. “Throughout my professional life, I have been confronted with news and ideas every day, and that will not change. But the time has come for me to take on different roles, knowing that we have truly talented and a passionate and principled leader in Lachlan who will become the sole chairman of both companies. Neither excessive pride nor false humility are admirable qualities. But I am truly proud of what we have collectively accomplished over the decades , and I owe a lot to my colleagues, whose contributions to our success have sometimes never been seen outside the company but are deeply appreciated by me.

“Whether it’s the truck drivers who deliver our newspapers, the cleaners who struggle when we leave the office, the assistants who support us, or the skilled operators behind the cameras or computer code, we would be less successful and will have less positive impact on society without your daily dedication. Our businesses are healthy, just like me. Our opportunities far outweigh our business challenges. We have every reason to be optimistic for the years to come – I certainly am and I intend to be here to participate in them.”

Rupert Murdoch speaks to shareholders, analysts and media at Fox Corporation’s 2019 Investor Day. Credit: Frank Micelotta/Fox Corp © 2019

Murdoch added that the battle for free speech and freedom of thought had never been more intense, and his family remained steadfastly committed to the cause. He criticized both contemptuous elites and the media “in cahoots” with them, which push narratives rather than seek the truth.

“In my new role, I can guarantee that I will participate in the competition of ideas every day,” he wrote.

Lachlan Murdoch has released an ad praising his father and the legacy he leaves behind in his hugely influential businesses.

“On behalf of the boards of FOX and News Corp, the management teams and all the shareholders who have benefited from his hard work, I congratulate my father on his remarkable 70 years of career,” said Lachlan Murdoch. “We thank him for his vision, his pioneering spirit, his unwavering determination and the lasting legacy he leaves behind in the companies he founded and the countless people he influenced. We are grateful that he will serve as Chairman Emeritus and know that he will continue to provide valuable guidance to both companies.

Murdoch’s media empire includes FOX News Channel, which launched in 1996 under News Corp and quickly established itself as a leader in 24-hour news coverage. It recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and has consistently dominated its competitors in viewership, becoming one of the most influential and closely watched news sources in the world.

Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of Fox Corporation and Executive Chairman of News Corp, and Lachlan Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of Fox Corporation. (FOX)

Murdoch served as executive chairman of 21st Century Fox from 2015 until the merger of 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company closed in March 2019. Murdoch served as CEO of 21st Century Fox since its inception as News Corporation in 1979 until 2015 and as CEO of 21st Century Fox. President from 1991 to 2015.

Murdoch’s career spanned continents and left its mark on the entire world.

In 1954, when he was in his twenties, Murdoch took control of News Limited, a public company based in his home country of Australia and previously run by his father, Sir Keith Murdoch. From there, his company bought and founded Australian newspapers, then moved internationally, taking control of the British newspapers News of the World and The Sun in 1969, then buying several American publications, including the New York Post and The Village Voice.

In 1980, News Corporation was formed to consolidate the international operations of its growing list of newspapers, magazines and television assets. In 1985, Murdoch became the owner of Twentieth Century Fox as well as some regional television stations in some major American markets.

FOX Broadcasting was launched in 1986, and by 1996, FOX Sports was wildly successful and FOX Network had become the top-ranked television company in the country.

In 2019, led by Mr. Murdoch, Fox Corporation launched as a standalone publicly traded company following the spinoff of 21st Century Fox in a deal that once again redefined the American media landscape. As Fox Corporation, the company produces and distributes content through brands including FOX News Media, FOX Sports, FOX Entertainment, FOX Television Stations and Tubi Media Group.

Murdoch was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for services to the media and to newspaper publishing in particular. In 2014, he was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. He and his family have made contributions to various educational, cultural and medical charities in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Asia and Israel.


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