Media mogul Rupert Murdoch says he is stepping down as chairman of Fox and News Corp, with his son Lachlan to head both companies.
In a memo to employees, Murdoch said “the time is right” for him to take on “different roles”.
Murdoch, 92, launched Fox News in 1996. It is now the most watched TV news channel in the US.
Murdoch said he will transition to the role of Chairman Emeritus of both firms in mid-November.
“Our companies are in robust health, as am I. Our opportunities far exceed our commercial challenges,” he wrote. “We have every reason to be optimistic about the coming years – I certainly am, and plan to be here to participate in them.”
Lachlan Murdoch, 52, is the son of Rupert Murdoch and his second wife, Anna Maria dePeyster. The billionaire patriarch has been married four times and has six children – many of whom followed their father into the family business.
The question of succession had largely come down to the second, third and fourth – Elisabeth, Lachlan and James.
Lachlan, 52, emerged as the heir apparent during his time as an executive in the late 1990s. However, he left the business in 2005 after a feud with then boss of Fox News, Roger Ailes. Lachlan returned to his father’s empire in 2014 and has held top positions ever since.
James Murdoch, the more liberally-minded son, quit the News Corp board in 2020 because of “disagreements over certain editorial content” and other grievances with the direction of the company.
Elisabeth, 55, held various high-ranking roles in the business but started her own television company, Shine, which produced shows like MasterChef and The Biggest Loser.