The 92-year-old announced Thursday he would step down as chairman of Fox Corp. and News Corp. in mid-November. His son, Lachlan Murdoch, will become sole chair of News Corp. and continue as executive chair and CEO of Fox Corporation.
Rupert Murdoch will become chairman emeritus at both companies.
“I congratulate my father on his remarkable 70-year career,” said Lachlan Murdoch in a statement. “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.”
In a farewell note to employees, the elder Murdoch urged employees to keep fighting “self-serving bureaucracies” and “elites”.
“Our companies are in robust health, as am I,” Rupert Murdoch wrote. “We have every reason to be optimistic about the coming years — I certainly am, and plan to be here to participate in them. But the battle for the freedom of speech and, ultimately, the freedom of thought, has never been more intense.”
Murdoch built a media empire that has shifted opinions throughout the world. Among News Corp’s holdings are Dow Jones (which includes The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Marketwatch and more), The New York Post, The Sun and The Times in the UK, and HarperCollins publishing, among many others. News Corp. also owns several other businesses, ranging from realtor.com to a collection of radio stations.
The crown jewel in his empire, though, is Fox News, which has become one of the most influential television networks in the U.S. and abroad and has topped the cable news ratings for some time.
The outlet has have a rather tumultuous year, though, agreeing to pay a $787.5 million settlement in the Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit. Not long after that, the network parted ways in a less than amicable fashion with Tucker Carlson, its top star. That caused the company’s stock to plunge.
While many in the far right have left Fox behind and embraced smaller networks, Fox will still be a central part of the 2024 election and hosted the first debate among most Republican candidates. With his departure, Murdoch will not be as intimately involved in the next campaign, but said he doesn’t plan on staying out of it completely.
“For my entire professional life, I have been engaged daily with news and ideas, and that will not change,” he wrote. “Self-serving bureaucracies are seeking to silence those who would question their provenance and purpose. Elites have open contempt for those who are not members of their rarefied class. Most of the media is in cahoots with those elites, peddling political narratives rather than pursuing the truth.”