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Rupert Murdoch's Departure from Fox News Signifies His Influence in American Politics

Rupert Murdoch, the 92-year-old media mogul, is stepping down as leader of Fox's parent company and News Corp. His son, Lachlan Murdoch, will take over.

Rupert Murdoch, the influential 92-year-old Australian media mogul, is stepping down as the leader of both Fox's parent company and his News Corp. media holdings. In November, Murdoch will become chairman emeritus of both companies, while his son, Lachlan Murdoch, will take over as chairman of News Corp. and continue as CEO of Fox Corp.

Lachlan Murdoch expressed gratitude for his father's continued involvement, stating that he will provide valuable guidance to both companies in his new role. Rupert Murdoch's impact on the media landscape cannot be understated. He founded Fox News, which successfully challenged the dominance of ABC, CBS, and NBC with groundbreaking shows like "The Simpsons." Additionally, Murdoch owns The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.

In 2019, Murdoch sold many entertainment assets, including film production, Marvel comics rights, National Geographic, and the cable network FX, to the Walt Disney Co. This move allowed him to streamline his corporate holdings. However, Fox News Channel remains a significant force in television and politics since its establishment in 1996. It revolutionized political talk by translating the power of radio to television, surpassing CNN and MSNBC in ratings within six years.

Despite its success, Fox has faced challenges recently. The network had to pay $787 million to settle a defamation lawsuit related to its coverage of false claims following the 2020 presidential election. Additionally, it parted ways with its popular host, Tucker Carlson. These events, along with lawsuits and concerns about viewership loss to smaller media outlets, contributed to a decline in Fox Corp.'s stock.

Murdoch assured employees that he will remain actively engaged at Fox, emphasizing his commitment to the exchange of ideas. He plans to watch broadcasts, read newspapers, websites, and books produced by the company. The timing of Murdoch's announcement is intriguing, as it coincides with the release of Michael Wolff's book, "The End of Fox News," which speculates on the network's future without its patriarch.

Rupert Murdoch's rise to prominence began with a single newspaper in Adelaide, Australia, inherited from his father. He transformed it into a media empire and amassed a net worth of approximately $19 billion, according to Forbes. While Murdoch never pursued political office, politicians in the United States and Britain eagerly sought his approval. His relationship with former President Donald Trump was complex, with reports suggesting both admiration and criticism.

Fox News faced its fair share of scandals, particularly related to sexual harassment, in the 2010s. These incidents led to the ousting of top executive Roger Ailes and prime-time personality Bill O'Reilly. Murdoch dismissed them as isolated incidents, attributing them to political motivations due to the network's conservative stance.

Following the announcement, shares of News Corp. and Fox experienced an increase in early trading. The future of Fox News without Rupert Murdoch at the helm remains uncertain, but his legacy as a media titan is undeniable.

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