Conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch will step down as chairman of Fox and News Corp on Thursday. according The Wall Street Journal. Murdoch will step down from his duties at both companies in mid-November and will be named chairman emeritus of both companies.
“For my entire professional life, I have been engaged daily with news and ideas, and that will not change. But the time is right to take on different roles,” Murdoch reportedly wrote in a memo to staff on Thursday. “Our companies are in good health, and so am I.”
Actually Succession style, Murdoch’s eldest son, Lachlan Murdoch, appears to be his heir apparent. Lachlan will take on the role of sole chairman of News Corp, the company that owns a large number of newspapers, magazines and television assets around the world, including companies such as The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post. Lachlan will continue in his roles as executive chairman and CEO of Fox.
In a statement on Thursday, Lachlan congratulated his father’s decision to step away from his massive media empire. “We thank him for his vision, his pioneering spirit, his steadfast determination and the lasting legacy he leaves to the companies he founded and the countless people he has impacted,” Lachlan said.
For more than 70 years, Rupert Murdoch helped shape the modern global media industry. His companies devoured other companies around the world, building one of the largest media empires in history. But his decision to resign comes amid a seismic shift in the media landscape that he played a role in building.
Like almost every other modern media organization, Murdoch’s companies have struggled to find new strategies to meet the demands of the digital age. Print and television news outlets (and digital ones, too) are still looking for ways to grow in an economy dominated by the Internet and digital advertising dollars. Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have given Fox and its competitors, like CNN, a run for their money, forcing them to launch streaming branches as well, although not with much success.