One of the Most 'Influential and Controversial Tycoons'

Rupert Murdoch at 92 will let son Lachlan lead Fox News and News Corp.
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2023 2:00 PM CDT
One of the Most 'Influential and Controversial Tycoons'
Lachlan Murdoch, left, and Rupert Murdoch attend the TIME 100 Gala in New York on April 21, 2015.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

The man described by the Wall Street Journal as "one of the world's most influential and controversial tycoons" is stepping back from his media career in a big way. At the age of 92, Rupert Murdoch is turning over leadership of Fox News and News Corp. to son Lachlan, 52. A look at coverage:

  • What now? Murdoch has resigned from the boards of Fox and News Corp., but his resignation letter made clear he still wants to have a say in things to some degree. What does that mean exactly? "We're going to find out," notes an analysis at Vox. The Murdoch empire has a long been a "fiefdom," and it's "unclear whether Rupert is willing or able to stop steering any of those properties now." Newsweek reports that Lachlan is believed to be more politically conservative than his father.
  • Clout: A comprehensive look at Murdoch's life, family, and career in the New York Times Magazine back in 2019 suggested that "few private citizens have ever been more central to the state of world affairs" than Murdoch. "Politicians know what Murdoch wants, and they know what he can deliver: the base, their voters—power." The story digs into how he came to accrue that power.
  • The start: The Washington Post notes that a 21-year-old Murdoch inherited a small regional paper in his native Australia from his father and eventually built a global media empire, one that has given him a net worth north of $8 billion. The story traces Murdoch's many, many controversies along the way, including the closure of his News of the World over a huge hacking scandal in the UK in 2011.

  • New book: New York notes that the announcement comes one day after the magazine excerpted a new book on Murdoch by Michael Wolff (a co-founder of Newser). The Fall: The End of Fox News and the Murdoch Dynasty "documents sometimes unsteady efforts to set a direction for the company and keep his family members and the company's employees from undermining him," per the magazine. It also details Murdoch's decision to cut ties with Tucker Carlson of Fox. The Guardian has some more takeaways from the book, including how Murdoch vastly underestimated how much he'd have to pay in the Dominion voting machine lawsuit on behalf of Fox.
  • Critics: A typical sentiment from the left being voiced about Murdoch comes from Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters for America. "Murdoch's legacy is one of deceit, destruction, and death," he writes. "In Fox News, Murdoch created a uniquely destructive force in American democracy and public life, one that ushered in an era of division where racist and post-truth politics thrive."
(More Rupert Murdoch stories.)

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