Here’s some news concerning a titan of the news business: Rupert Murdoch is stepping down as chairman of Fox Corp and News Corp.
The company announced today Thursday morning that Murdoch is stepping down as chairman of each board effective as of the upcoming Annual General Meeting of Shareholders of each company in mid-November.
Murdoch will be appointed Chairman Emeritus of each company, and as expected, Lachlan Murdoch will take over the global media empire, becoming sole Chair of News Corp and continue as Executive Chair and CEO of Fox Corporation.
“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. “We thank him for his vision, his pioneering spirit, his steadfast determination and the enduring legacy he leaves to the companies he founded and countless people he has impacted. We are grateful that he will serve as Chairman Emeritus and know he will continue to provide valued counsel to both companies.”
One of the most influential and polarizing figures in American media over the past half-century, the Australian-born Murdoch, 92, was previously Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox from 2015 to the closing of the $71 billion merger of 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company in March 2019. He served as CEO of 21st Century Fox from its inception as News Corporation in 1979 until 2015 and as its Chairman from 1991 to 2015.
Rupert Murdoch’s media career began in earnest 70 years ago when, in 1952, he inherited his father’s interests in the Adelaide newspaper The News, becoming editor, publisher and a member of the board of News Limited the following year. After decades in the newspaper business, launching newspapers in Australia, the U.K. and U.S., he became a major Hollywood executive in 1985 when he purchased Twentieth Century Fox for $600 million. In 1986, Murdoch hit the media trifecta, entering the U.S. TV business after he purchased several local TV stations and created Fox Broadcasting Company.
With assistance from the late television executive and one-time political operative Roger Ailes, in 1996, Murdoch launched a cable news network, Fox News Channel, primarily as a competitor to CNN. After a slow start in the viewership department, Fox News bypassed CNN in 2001, around the time of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, and to this day, continues to hold the No. 1 spot in the cable news Nielsen ratings race.
Here’s Rupert Murdoch’s note to staff:
Editor’s note: This is a breaking news story. More to come…