He withdraws, my empire remains in the family fold. At 92, the feared media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who influenced political life in Great Britain and the United States, will let go of the reins of his conservative media empire and hand over to his son Lachlan at the head of the media group News Corp and Fox Corporation.
The news, announced in a press release from the two companies, was read soberly on the air of Fox News, the favorite channel of American conservatives, by one of its journalists, who praised the “indelible mark” of his boss on the “global media landscape”. Rupert Murdoch leaves a controversial legacy, accused of having, through his newspapers and television, favored the rise of populism in Anglo-Saxon countries, symbolized by Brexit in Great Britain and the rise of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States in 2016.
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In a memo to his “colleagues” at Fox, Rupert Murdoch assures them that “the battle for free speech, and ultimately, free thought, has never been more intense.” The American channel Fox News has, on the contrary, been accused of fueling disinformation about anti-Covid vaccines and allegations of a supposedly rigged presidential election in 2020 in the United States to the detriment of Donald Trump. This media coverage earned him a very hefty bill. Fox News agreed in April to pay the staggering sum of $787.5 million to electronic voting machine manufacturer Dominion Voting Systems, at the center of Trumpist conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, and whose channel had echoes.
Without any real surprise, Rupert Murdoch hands over to his son Lachlan, 52, already chairman of Fox Corporation and favorite to take over from his siblings, James, Prudence and Elisabeth, in a race for inheritance that has inspired the hit American television series “Succession”. Lachlan Murdoch will take the helm of a slimmed-down empire, after Disney’s $66 billion takeover of the 21st Century Fox entertainment group and its vast catalog of films in 2017. Fox Corporation then refocused on sports and information.
Rupert Murdoch, the most powerful and best-known press boss in the world, started from a simple daily newspaper in Adelaide, in his native Australia in the early 1950s, built a global empire and his newspapers and television channels had considerable influence in Great Britain and then in the United States.