The End of an Era: Rupert Murdoch’s Successor Announced as Son Lachlan Takes the Reins of Fox Corporation and News Corp

2023-09-21 13:52:30
Rupert Murdoch and his son Lachlan Murdoch, in Sun Valley (Idaho), July 13, 2017. DREW ANGERER / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

The end of an era. After more than seventy years of career, media mogul Rupert Murdoch will leave, at the age of 92, the chairs of Fox Corporation, parent company of the favorite channel of American conservatives Fox News, and News Corp. , and pass the baton to his son Lachlan, announced the two companies in a press release Thursday September 21.

This withdrawal of the Australian-American businessman will be effective at the next general meeting of shareholders of the two companies in mid-November. Rupert Murdoch will then become honorary chairman of both groups.

« We thank him for his vision, his pioneering spirit, his unwavering determination and the lasting legacy he leaves behind in the companies he founded and the countless people he influenced “, Lachlan Murdoch said in the press release.

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Empire loyalty

Already president of Fox Corporation, Lachlan Murdoch was already positioned as the favorite to take over from his father, among his brothers and sisters. He will take the helm of a slimmed-down empire, after Disney’s purchase in 2017, for $66 billion, of the entertainment group 21st Century Fox and its vast catalog of films. Fox Corporation then refocused on sports and information.

The boss of the Fox empire, whose 24-hour news channel Fox News is central to conservatives, is retiring at a key moment, with the approach of the 2024 US presidential election, for which Donald Trump is the favorite in the Republican primary.

Five months ago, Fox News had to agree to pay the staggering sum of $787.5 million to electronic voting machine manufacturer Dominion Voting Systems, to avoid an embarrassing defamation lawsuit after the 2020 presidential election. , one of its star presenters, Tucker Carlson, had left the channel, which has since lost audience.

Considerable influence in the United Kingdom and then in the United States

The world’s most powerful and best-known newspaper boss, who started from a single daily in Adelaide, his native Australia, in the early 1950s, built a global empire, and his newspapers and television networks have had a considerable influence in the United Kingdom and then in the United States.

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Fox News, born in 1996 to compete with CNN, was seen as playing a central role in the political rise of Donald Trump, even if the Murdoch group’s media (New York Post, Wall Street Journal) have not always been kind to the Republican billionaire. By reinventing the tabloid press, a mixture of sensational news, scandals, sport and sex, Rupert Murdoch enjoyed success, but also a series of controversies.

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For example, the British newspaper methods News of the World had led to a resounding scandal in 2011. Employees went so far as to hack the phones of dozens of people, including members of the royal family, to secretly gather juicy information, in defiance of the law. The weekly had gone out of business after one hundred and sixty-eight years of existence.

The World with AFP

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