End of the media age: Trump's friend Rupert Murdoch steps down as chairman of Fox Group and publishing company News Corp. behind. His son Lachlan takes over. What's next for Fox News – one year before the US election?
Since September 21, it has become clear: Rupert Murdoch, 92, is making way for his son Lachlan. The media mogul announced this in writing. Pointing out that the Fox Group and News Corp are doing well, and so is he himself. But it's time for other roles. Until now, Murdoch has always brushed aside questions about a possible withdrawal.
Journalist Andrew Neil worked with him for years in London. After announcing the generational change, he said on the American CNN channel: “Companies – whether the newspaper division or the television division – walk on water.” They were still making money, but Murdoch was no longer able to do business. The company has shrunk. That's why I think it's time to hand over, says Neil: Let's see how Lachlan does.
20 billion dollars project value
The eldest son becomes sole chairman of News Corp, which includes the Wall Street Journal and other print and digital media outlets. He remains CEO and CEO of Fox Corporation. Forbes magazine estimates that the empire is worth more than $20 billion.
Ian D'Souza, a finance professor at Stern School of Business in New York, doesn't want to stick to numbers. For him, the value of any media company lies in how quickly it responds to trends and demands: “With the sale of the entertainment division to the Disney group a few years ago, the Fox group committed to broadcasting live sports and live news.” Because “live” is irreplaceable.
Therefore, D'Souza sees Lachlan Murdoch's mission as ensuring that the values of the Fox Group do not disappear under his control. He has to focus on that.
Lachlan is considered a conservative
There was a heated dispute between the Marduks over the succession to the throne. The whole thing even provided material for the series “Caliphate.” But after his brother James left the company about three years ago, the slightly older Lachlan was confirmed as heir apparent. The Princeton graduate has worked in various positions at the company, was also a freelancer in private radio for several years and is considered a political conservative.
In the 2016 presidential campaign, Rupert Murdoch supported Republican Donald Trump. At an event the following year, they both made no secret of their friendship, which was profitable, at least on a professional level.
Fox News has essentially become Trump's home channel. This became an issue in the wake of its election defeat in 2020: Just in the spring the broadcaster was forced to pay nearly $790 million to a voting machine manufacturer in a settlement. Fox hosts have spread Trump's baseless claims about election fraud.
On Trump's side again?
There will be another election in the United States in a year. Trump is currently considered the most promising candidate for the Republican Party nomination. D'Souza assumes that Fox News will clearly support the candidate this time as well. He believes that integration will happen again: “If I understand the economic value and reasons for selling the entertainment division and focusing more on live content, I am of the opinion: yes. There will definitely be a recovery.” “How much will it reach the levels of 2016 and beyond? I don’t know. But do I think it will grow? Yes.”
It is questionable where Lachlan Murdoch will direct his work from. His family lives in Australia, and he often visits Fox's headquarters in California, but most of the editorial staff works in New York. In other words, where his father lives most of the time. Although he will no longer play a role in the day-to-day business, he will always remain a force to be reckoned with, as he has already announced.
Charlotte Voss, ARD New York, Tagesschau, November 15, 2023, 9:15 am
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