Marking the end of an era on September 21, 2023, Rupert Murdoch, the media magnate behind one of the world’s most influential media empires, announced his decision to step down as the chairman of both Fox Corp and News Corp. This decision concludes Murdoch’s seven-decade-long tenure, during which he transformed the global media landscape.
Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert’s eldest son, is poised to take the reins. He will assume the role of the sole chairman of News Corp and will continue his current roles as chairman and CEO of Fox. In a heartfelt statement, Lachlan lauded his father’s monumental 70-year career, stating, “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.”
Rupert Murdoch’s departure comes amidst a backdrop of challenges and transformations in the media industry. Fox, once a dominant force, now competes with larger broadcasters in an age where streaming is rapidly replacing traditional cable television. News Corp, with its ownership of prominent newspapers like the Times and the Sun in the United Kingdom, grapples with declining print sales and the shift of advertising revenue to major social media platforms.
The media mogul’s journey has not been without controversy. From the phone hacking scandal that led to the closure of the News of the World tabloid to the recent $787.5 million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems over defamation claims, Murdoch’s empire has faced its share of challenges. Yet, his influence remains undeniable. From supporting political figures like Margaret Thatcher and Donald Trump to launching media ventures that changed the course of journalism, Murdoch’s legacy is multifaceted.
In a memo to staff, Murdoch reassured his commitment to the industry, stating, “For my entire professional life, I have been engaged daily with news and ideas, and that will not change. But the time is right for me to take on different roles.” He will be designated as chairman emeritus of both corporations post-resignation.
As the media world processes this significant transition, questions arise about the future direction of the Murdoch empire, especially under Lachlan’s leadership. With the media landscape continually evolving, the next chapter for Fox and News Corp remains to be seen.