Media Mogul Rupert Murdoch Retires at Age 92, Announces New Head
Rupert Murdoch, the influential media executive who built a media empire spanning several decades, announced his plans to step down as chairman of News Corp. and take on the role of chairman emeritus. This move marks the end of Murdoch's illustrious seven-decade career as one of the world's most powerful media moguls.
The news, announced by Fox Corp. on Thursday, means that Rupert Murdoch, who is 92 years old, will officially retire from his leadership role at both companies. He will be succeeded by his eldest son, Lachlan Murdoch, who is currently the executive and CEO of Fox Corp.
In his role as chairman emeritus, Rupert Murdoch will continue to provide guidance and counsel to both companies. In a statement, Lachlan Murdoch expressed his gratitude for his father's contributions, saying "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."
This announcement comes at a crucial time for the media businesses. Both companies are facing several challenges, including a recent defamation lawsuit and a settlement of nearly $800 million over unfounded claims made by Fox News about Dominion Voting Systems equipment being used to rig the 2020 presidential election.
Rupert Murdoch's media career began in the newspaper industry. He inherited his father's newspaper business while studying at Oxford University and soon boosted circulation by focusing on scandalous and sensational content. In the 1960s, he expanded his holdings to include several Australian newspapers and continued to grow his media empire by acquiring newspapers in the U.K. and the U.S.
In 1985, Murdoch consolidated his television assets under the umbrella of Fox Corp., later launching Fox News. The news channel quickly rose to fame and became a top-rated news network, surpassing competitors ABC, CBS, and NBC in viewership.
Over the years, Murdoch's media empire has been known for its conservative leanings, with its TV and print outlets often promoting right-wing ideologies. However, his personal life has also been the subject of much public interest, with reports of family power struggles said to have inspired the hit HBO series "Succession."
With Rupert Murdoch stepping back from his leadership role, his son Lachlan will now assume complete control of the company's tabloid newspapers, including the New York Post, and its television assets, including Fox News and Fox Entertainment.
In a memo to employees, Rupert Murdoch explained that "the time is right" for him to take on different roles and thanked his employees for their support and contribution to the companies he founded.
The succession plan marks a new era for News Corp. and Fox Corp., with Lachlan Murdoch solidifying his position as his father's successor and taking the helm of their extensive media businesses. As Rupert Murdoch retires from his role as chairman, his legacy as one of the most influential media executives of the last 50 years will continue to shape the media landscape for years to come.