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Rupert Murdoch steps down as chair of Fox, News Corp.

Rupert Murdoch has resigned as chairman of Fox Corp. and News Corp., ending a career spanning more than seven decades in which he created a media empire stretching from Australia to the United States.

His son, Lachlan Murdoch, who was named co-chairman of News Corp. in March 2014, will become the company’s sole chairman and will remain chairman and CEO of Fox, the companies announced Thursday. The transition strengthens Lachlan’s role as leader of the media empire, ending questions of succession within the Murdoch family.

The news comes just months after Murdoch, 92, abandoned a plan that would have reunited his media empire by merging Fox and News Corp.

Murdoch, who holds near majority stakes in both companies, will be named chairman emeritus of both companies.

In a memo to staff Thursday, Murdoch wrote: “Our businesses are healthy, as am I.”

β€œIn my new role, I can guarantee that I will be involved in the competition of ideas every day,” Murdoch wrote. “Our businesses are communities and I will be an active member of our community. I will watch our shows with a critical eye, I will read our newspapers, our websites and our books with great interest.”

Murdoch, who has six children, has long wanted them to one day take the reins of the empire. His son James was CEO of 21st Century Fox before the company’s decision to sell its film and television assets to Walt Disney Co. for US$71.3 billion, a deal completed in 2019.

James then funneled the proceeds from the transaction to a private investment firm, Lupa Systems. Lachlan was named CEO of the new Fox Corp. in March 2019.

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