OAN’s Brooke Mallory
12:22 PM – Thursday, September 21, 2023
Fox Corp. and News Corp. announced on Thursday that Rupert Murdoch is resigning as chairman of the boards of both companies. In November, the change will become effective.
Murdoch, 92, will now be named chairman emeritus.
One of Murdoch’s sons, Lachlan Murdoch, will reportedly step in and serve as the only chairman of News Corp. and as the executive chairman and CEO of Fox Corp.
“Our companies are in robust health, as am I,” the elder Murdoch said in a note to employees. “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.”
After a turbulent year at the Fox network, Murdoch is resigning from the board of directors. This comes shortly after Fox agreed to pay a $787.5 million settlement in a defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems.
In the months preceding the Dominion settlement, Murdoch’s persistent involvement behind the scenes at Fox News was made clear. Murdoch claimed that several of the network’s anchors “repeated falsehoods” in the months after the election in his deposition for the case.
Before the agreement, Dominion demanded that Murdoch, his son, and other prominent Fox employees and executives testify if there was a trial.
At the time, Fox had objected to having the senior Murdoch present in person, along with other top Fox executives, due to his advanced age. According to a Delaware court that denied the claim, Murdoch’s engagement, which was later canceled, and his widely publicized trip plans precluded Fox from claiming hardship.
According to a regulatory filing, Murdoch has been working from his Montana home since July 2022 instead of traveling to Fox or News Corp. headquarters.
Fox’s former top talent, Tucker Carlson, also left the network earlier this year, which was followed by a staggering drop in ratings.
Fox is the parent corporation of right-leaning TV networks Fox News and Fox Business, while News Corp. controls newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal and New York Post.
The media tycoon, originally from Australia, began his career in the field in 1954 after assuming control of what was then known as News Ltd., which was the owner of Adelaide’s No. 2 newspaper. His father was a local newspaper publisher and a war correspondent.
He expanded his newspaper empire from there, eventually reaching tabloids in Britain and the United States.
Murdoch originally started working in the television industry in the 1980s and, in 1985, purchased oil tycoon Marvin Davis’ 50% interest in Twentieth Century Fox. In order to fulfill the prerequisite for owning TV stations in the nation, he became a citizen of the United States in the same year.
The Fox News Channel was introduced in 1996 and has since grown to be a popular conservative cable network.
Murdoch’s full message to his employees: “Dear Colleagues, I am writing to let you all know that I have decided to transition to the role of Chairman Emeritus at Fox and News. 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, knowing that we have truly talented teams and a passionate, principled leader in Lachlan who will become sole Chairman of both companies. Neither excessive pride nor false humility are admirable qualities. But I am truly proud of what we have achieved collectively through the decades, and I owe much to my colleagues, whose contributions to our success have sometimes been unseen outside the company but are deeply appreciated by me. Whether the truck drivers distributing our papers, the cleaners who toil when we have left the office, the assistants who support us or the skilled operators behind the cameras or the computer code, we would be less successful and have less positive impact on society without your day-after-day dedication. Our companies are in robust health, as am I. Our opportunities far exceed our commercial challenges. 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. My father firmly believed in freedom, and Lachlan is absolutely committed to the cause. 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. In my new role, I can guarantee you that I will be involved every day in the contest of ideas. Our companies are communities, and I will be an active member of our community. I will be watching our broadcasts with a critical eye, reading our newspapers and websites and books with much interest, and reaching out to you with thoughts, ideas, and advice. When I visit your countries and companies, you can expect to see me in the office late on a Friday afternoon. I look forward to seeing you wherever you work and whatever your responsibility. And I urge you to make the most of this great opportunity to improve the world we live in.”
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