Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, who built a worldwide empire with such news outlets as Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, is resigning from his position as the chairman of his media conglomerate.
On Thursday, Fox Corp. and News Corp. announced that Murdoch would be relinquishing his role as chairman at both companies, a change set to take effect during their annual meetings scheduled for November.
In a communication addressed to his employees, Murdoch remarked that both he and his corporations are in excellent condition. Nonetheless, he also expressed his belief that the ‘struggle for the right to free expression and, ultimately, the freedom of thought, is currently at its most fervent.’”
Lachlan Murdoch will continue to lead the two companies.
“On behalf of the Foc 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,” 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. We are grateful that he will serve as Chairman Emeritus and know he will continue to provide valued counsel to both companies.”
In a letter to his employees, Murdoch said that he and his companies are in “robust health.” However, he added that the “battle for freedom of speech and, ultimately, the freedom of thought, has never been more intense.”
“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,” Murdoch wrote.
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.
More to come.
Rupert Murdoch is worth an estimated $17.3 billion. Murdoch sold most of Fox’s movie studio, FX, and National Geographic Networks and its stake in Star India to Disney for $71.3 billion in March 2019. He is 92 years old.