Home Featured Rupert Murdoch to step down as chair from Fox and News Corp. boards, hand reins to son
Rupert Murdoch to step down as chair from Fox and News Corp. boards, hand reins to son

Rupert Murdoch to step down as chair from Fox and News Corp. boards, hand reins to son

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“For my entire professional life, I have been engaged with news and ideas, and that will not change,” Murdoch wrote. “But the time is right for me to take on different roles, knowing that we have truly talented teams and a passionate, principled leader in Lachlan.”

Murdoch didn’t further specify the reasons for stepping down, but noted that he’s in good health.

“I am truly proud of what we have achieved collectively through the decades, and I owe much to my colleagues, whose contributions to our success have sometimes been unseen outside the company but are deeply appreciated by me,” he wrote. “In my new role, I can guarantee you that I will be involved every day in the contest of ideas.”

The news comes five months after Fox settled a high-profile defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems, a voting machine company that accused the conservative network of deliberately spreading bogus conspiracy theories about its products after the 2020 election.

Fox agreed to pay $787.5 million to prevent hosts — and Murdoch himself — from having to take the witness stand at a trial.

During a deposition for a trial, Murdoch agreed that the 2020 election was fair, and acknowledged that Fox hosts should have been more forceful in denying the baseless claims of fraud.

“I would have liked us to be stronger in denouncing it in hindsight,” he said, according to the court filing.

Days after the settlement, Fox parted ways with host Tucker Carlson, who at the time was the most-watched cable news host. Carlson’s departure from the prime-time slot sent Fox’s ratings tumbling, though viewership has since started to pop back up.

Murdoch, who created Fox News in 1996 as a competitor to CNN, amassed a conservative media empire across multiple continents, acquiring several prominent media outlets including The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post. The 92-year-old’s announcement Thursday marks the run-up to the end of a decades-long reign over what many consider the most influential media operation in the world.

Though Murdoch and Fox News played a key role in Donald Trump’s successful White House bid in 2016, the relationship between Trump and Fox has taken a beating amid the fallout from the 2020 election.

With Lachlan Murdoch at the helm, it’s unclear whether Fox will continue to bolster Trump’s message — the younger Murdoch has reportedly offered harsh criticism of the former president, according to CNN. Lachlan will take control of the Murdoch kingdom after a bitter battle with his brother, James, for control of the company.

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