Rupert Murdoch steps down as chairman of Fox, News Corp.
STORY: EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS STORY WAS UPDATED AND RESENT TO INCLUDE COMMENTARY FROM FORMER NEWS CORP. DIGITAL CEO JON MILLER.
Rupert Murdoch has stepped down as the chairman of Fox and News Corp. – ending a more than seven-decade career.
During that time, the 92-year-old created a media empire spanning from Australia to the United States.
His son, Lachlan Murdoch will become the sole chairman of News Corp. and continue as the chair and CEO of Fox, the companies said on Thursday.
Former News Corp Digital CEO Jon Miller calls this the end of an era.
"I think Rupert may just be about the last of the founder moguls in the media business. And you think about people like Ted Turner in that regard for example, Sumner Redstone and now Rupert Murdoch and maybe a nod to John Malone, who's still at it, but the kind of high profile media mogul I think was exemplified by the group I just mentioned and Rupert is the remaining stalwart there."
The transition solidifies Lachlan's role as the leader of the media empire, putting to rest questions of succession within the Murdoch family.
"What many people want to see is how Lachlan will lead on his own and I think the expectation is that he'll be a businessman who's oriented towards some of the things that you... see in place already, or starting to see in place, but sort of emphasize more. For example, more, more digital assets. I think he may be more aggressive on the M & A front than recent years the companies have been. And I think he'll try to re-craft a larger enterprise."
Lachlan will take over just months after his father scrapped a plan that would have reunited the media empire by merging Fox and News Corp.
Murdoch, who has near-controlling stakes in both companies, will be appointed chairman emeritus of both the companies.
In a memo to staff Thursday, he wrote: "Our companies are in robust health, as am I."
Murdoch has long wanted his children to succeed him.
His son James had been CEO of Twenty-First Century Fox prior to the company's decision to sell its film and television assets to Disney for $71.3 billion, a deal that closed in 2019.
James then channeled proceeds from the deal into a private investment firm, Lupa Systems. Lachlan was appointed CEO of the new Fox.
Upon Murdoch's death, his other children could challenge Lachlan's power.
Shares of Fox Corp rose three percent in Thursday trading while News Corp stock rose about 1 percent.
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