The powerful right-wing media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, who founded and managed one of the most significant news empires in the world, said on Thursday that he will step down as chairman of his firms, Fox Corporation and News Corporation.
“For my entire professional life, I have been engaged daily with news and ideas, and that will not change,” Murdoch, 92, wrote in a memo to employees. “But the time is right for me to take on different roles, knowing that we have truly talented teams.”
Murdoch has held significant power in the Republican Party for decades, a position only a select few others have been able to match. Murdoch is the head of Fox and News Corporation, which publishes prominent broadsheets including The Wall Street Journal and the tabloid New York Post.
His resignation comes at a crucial time for the media sector as long-established entertainment juggernauts deal with a radical shift of the conventional television and film industries and consumers quickly turn to streaming services.
Just as the 2024 presidential election is heating up, Murdoch’s decision to step aside as chairman of his enterprises will cause shockwaves throughout the political world. After the 2020 election, Fox News continued to promote the lies of the former president Donald Trump, which led to the network being sued.
Lachlan Murdoch, the eldest son of Rupert Murdoch and now the CEO of Fox Corporation, will take over as the sole chairman of both businesses.
Lachlan was referred to by Murdoch as “a passionate, principled leader.” Although Rupert gave the impression that Lachlan would continue the right-wing editorial slant his media firms are known for, it is uncertain how Fox will go under Lachlan.
Rupert Murdoch informed staff that he is in “robust health,” adding that in his new position as chairman emeritus, he will still be “involved every day in the contest of ideas.”
Lachlan Murdoch, though, has privately criticized Trump and stated that he disapproves of much of the former President’s behavior, according to persons familiar with the situation who spoke to CNN last year. Murdoch has gone so far as to say in some statements that he thought it would be harmful for the country if Trump were to run again.