Media mogul Rupert Murdoch (almost) leaves his group after seventy years of career

At 92, Rupert Murdoch almost definitively turns the page. The founder of the world’s largest English-language media group, which includes the conservative television network Fox News and The Wall Street Journal in the United States, the Times and the Sun in the United Kingdom, and 60% of Australian newspapers, announced on Thursday, September 21, that he was resigning from his positions as president of Fox Corporation and News Corp., the two companies that form his conglomerate.

From mid-November, he will simply become “president emeritus” of the two companies, and he will no longer have a seat on their boards of directors. His eldest son, Lachlan, who was already at his side, replaces him.

But the one who started at 21, inheriting a small Australian daily which belonged to his father, can never completely disconnect. “Throughout my professional life, I have worked daily around information and ideas and that will not change”he explained in a memo sent to his employees, that The world was able to consult.

New, more political role

His title of “president emeritus” gives him the right to attend board meetings if he wishes. Above all, he still holds indirect control of his group, with four of the eight votes in the family holding company (the rest belonging to his children), which owns around 40% of the voting rights of the two companies. It is impossible in these conditions to make major strategic decisions without his consent.

In the letter he sent to his employees, where he emphasizes that he is ” in good health “he takes on a new, more political role to defend what he perceives as a widespread attack on freedom of expression. “My father proudly believed in freedom, and Lachlan is absolutely dedicated to that cause. (…) Elites have open contempt for those outside their rarefied class. Most media outlets are in cahoots with these elites, telling political stories rather than seeking the truth. In my new role, I guarantee that I will be in this battle of ideas every day. »

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He who has always loved being at the heart of political influence, making and unmaking the careers of Australian and British prime ministers, supporting or attacking American presidents, seems to want to redouble his activity in this area. “I will watch our broadcasts with a critical eye, read our newspapers, our sites and our books [il possède la maison d’édition HarperCollins] with great interest, and I will share my ideas and advice. » Those who hoped to see the papivore disappear once and for all will be disappointed: “When I visit your companies and countries, you can expect to see me in the office until late Friday afternoon. »

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