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Rupert Murdoch to Step Down from Fox and News Corp Boards in November

Rupert Murdoch to Step Down from Fox and News Corp Boards in November

Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch

The transition comes after a tumultuous year marked by legal challenges, talent departures, and controversial editorial stances.


Media magnate Rupert Murdoch, 92, is preparing to step down as chairman of the board for both Fox Corp. and News Corp., with the transition set to become official in November.

Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert’s son, will take the reins, becoming the sole chairman of News Corp. He will continue his roles as Fox Corp.’s executive chair and CEO. This leadership shift comes amidst significant challenges for Fox, especially in light of its $787.5 million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems over false allegations concerning the company’s voting machines in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

In a note shared with employees and provided to CNBC, the elder Murdoch remarked, “Our companies are in robust health, as am I,” expressing optimism about the future. However, he did not shy away from the challenges, saying, “The battle for the freedom of speech and, ultimately, the freedom of thought, has never been more intense.”

Beyond legal issues, Fox News faced internal disruptions, including the departure of top broadcaster Tucker Carlson, which led to a brief ratings decline. Murdoch’s decision to step back is also notably timed a year before the upcoming U.S. presidential election. Under his leadership, News Corp. became the parent of prestigious publications like The Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, Fox Corp. houses right-wing networks, Fox News and Fox Business, both known for their substantial influence on American political discourse and often controversial stances, including editorial choices that are anti-LGBTQ+.

This summer, Fox News faced criticism after its story on the new Progress Pride Flag displayed at the White House during a Pride Month celebration bore a headline suggesting it “promotes grooming and pedophilia.” Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates rebuked the claim, tweeting, “.@FoxNews is characteristically lying through their teeth.” The original headline was later adjusted to focus on “troubles some critics in the gay community.” Notably, Fox News’s parent company previously embraced the same flag in its 2022 corporate report, leading many to highlight the network’s inconsistency on the topic.

“For my entire professional life, I have been engaged daily with news and ideas, and that will not change,” Murdoch emphasized in his note on Thursday, signifying that while his roles might shift, his influence and dedication to the industry remain intact.

His letter to employees further delved into his beliefs, as he stated, “Most of the media is in cahoots with those elites, peddling political narratives rather than pursuing the truth.” He reassured employees of his continued involvement: “In my new role, I can guarantee you that I will be involved every day in the contest of ideas.”

While the industry acknowledges Murdoch’s vast media empire, it also recognizes the challenges and controversies Fox and News Corp. have faced, particularly their editorial choices. The pushback against their perceived anti-LGBTQ+ positions has been a point of contention for critics and advocacy groups.

As the media landscape evolves and the U.S. gears up for another election cycle, Lachlan Murdoch’s leadership direction will be scrutinized, especially regarding editorial stances and the company’s broader impact on political narratives.

This story is developing.

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