Rupert Murdoch, 92, to step down as chairman of Fox and NewsCorp after 70 years – with son Lachlan set to take over

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Rupert Murdoch, 92, to step down as chairman of Fox and NewsCorp after 70 years – with son Lachlan set to take over

Rupert Murdoch today announced that he is stepping down from his role as chairman of Fox and News Corp after 70 years - with his son La

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Rupert Murdoch today announced that he is stepping down from his role as chairman of Fox and News Corp after 70 years – with his son Lachlan taking over.

The billionaire will be taking on a new role of Chairman Emeritus, with his son Lachlan becoming the sole chairman of both businesses, declaring: ‘Our companies are in robust health, as am I’.

In an extraordinary letter to staff, the 92-year-old said: ‘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.

‘I am truly proud of what we have achieved collectively through the decades. 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’.

Insisting that he is not stepping back from the day-to-day running of his his empire he said: ‘For my entire professional life, I have been engaged daily with news and ideas, and that will not change. In my new role, I can guarantee you that I will be involved every day in the contest of ideas’. 

Murdoch has been married four times and has six children with three of his wives. There has long been public speculation about which of his four older children — Prudence, Elisabeth, Lachlan and James, would take over from him.

Today it was confirmed as Lachlan, who paid tribute to his father’s legacy. 

Rupert Murdoch will be taking on a new role of Chairman Emeritus, with his son Lachlan becoming the sole chairman of both of Fox and News Corp

Rupert Murdoch will be taking on a new role of Chairman Emeritus, with his son Lachlan becoming the sole chairman of both of Fox and News Corp

Rupert Murdoch will be taking on a new role of Chairman Emeritus, with his son Lachlan becoming the sole chairman of both of Fox and News Corp

Rupert Murdoch's message to colleagues where he announced his departure as chairman

Rupert Murdoch's message to colleagues where he announced his departure as chairman

Rupert Murdoch’s message to colleagues where he announced his departure as chairman

In a statement he said: ‘On behalf of the FOX and News Corp boards of directors, leadership teams, and all the shareholders who have benefited from his hard work, I congratulate my father on his remarkable 70-year career. 

‘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. 

‘We are grateful that he will serve as Chairman Emeritus and know he will continue to provide valued counsel to both companies’.  

A spokesman confirmed that Lachlan’s new role will start following the Annual General Meetings in mid-November. 

The media mogul got into the newspaper business in the 1950s, and became a major Hollywood executive in 1985 when he purchased Twentieth Century Fox from oilman Marvin Davis for $600 million.

In a memo to employees, Murdoch wrote: ‘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.’

This is a developing story.  

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