Meet Lachlan Murdoch, The New Man At The Helm Of Fox News

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Lachlan Murdoch, the son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, is set to replace his father as he prepares to step down from his role as the head of Fox Corporation and News Corporation.

The 92-year-old Rupert Murdoch will officially step down from his role in November and be appointed chairman emeritus of both corporations. His 52-year-old son will become the sole chair of News Corp and continue in his role as executive chair and CEO of Fox Corporation.

Rupert named Lachlan as sole heir to his business in 2019. Murdoch’s younger brother, James, resigned from the board of directors of News Corp in July 2020 over “disagreements” about editorial content.

Born in London in 1971, Lachlan Murdoch moved with his family to the U.S. at age three and ran his own newspaper in Queensland, Australia, according to The Guardian. He became the third-most powerful executive in News Corp at the age of 34, controlling several Fox TV franchises and the New York Post.

He stepped aside in 2005 over a disagreement with his father and former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, according to the outlet. During his time away from his father’s empire, Lachlan moved with his wife and son to Australia, where he founded the investment firm Illyria.

Lachlan returned to the U.S. in 2014 at the behest of his father and had been labeled the “prodigal son,” according to the outlet. He was named chairman and CEO of Fox Corporation in 2019.

The heir is reportedly more politically aligned with his father than James, who has become critical of Fox News and reportedly gave $20 million to President Joe Biden and left-wing groups, according to The Guardian. Lachlan reportedly contributed to Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson’s rise at the network and defended him amid widespread criticism.

News Corporation Chief Rupert Murdoch (C) speaks to the media after meeting the family of murdered British school girl Milly Dowler in London, on July 15, 2011. Rupert Murdoch will use advertisements in British national newspapers on Saturday to apologise for "serious wrongdoing" by his News of the World tabloid, News International said. AFP PHOTO/BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Rupert Murdoch (C) speaks to the media (BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Rupert’s transition comes after Fox News faced a difficult several months. The company settled a defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million after the company accused the network of falsely claiming that its voting machines were used to help steal the 2020 election for Joe Biden.

The network then suffered a major ratings drop after firing Carlson, especially in the key 25-to-54-year-old demographic. (RELATED: Prominent Liberal Cheers As Rupert Murdoch’s Home Burns In California Wildfire)

Steve Krakauer, an editor of Fourth Watch on Substack, told the Caller that the younger Murdoch’s takeover is a “boring” and “inevitable” conclusion which makes the transition unlikely to produce any major changes at Fox News.

“With Rupert Murdoch stepping down and Lachlan taking over, I don’t anticipate a massive amount changing in the structure and output of Fox News,” Krakauer told the Caller. “This is not an exciting episode of ‘Succession’ — this is the boring conclusion of what was inevitable for a long time. In that sense, for fans of Fox News, it will likely be more of the same, and for those who hoped Fox might somehow shift leftward, I think they will be disappointed.”

“The media landscape is changing — ABC News might get sold! — and nothing will stop the drip-drip-drip of the content consumption habit reshuffling toward digital,” Krakauer continued. “But expect Fox News to be one of the last holdouts of traditional media, because they are still printing billions and seeing millions of viewers on a monthly basis.”

NewsCycleMedia President Jon Nicosia said the 52-year-old Murdoch will bring a new generation to the table, though he said it will take “a lot of energy and youth” to replace the dying cable television industry. He also said he expected that Fox News will be sold under the young Murdoch’s watch.

“I think you’ll see Fox News’ enemies like (left-wing) Kara Swisher, and 90% of the rest of the media try to stir up rumor and chaos,” Nicosia told the Caller. “I think all the cable channels will be eventually be spun off, but Fox News will be the last to be sold. Unlike the other networks, Fox News is a Family legacy, I doubt very much Lachlan will have his legacy be the Murdoch that broke up the empire.”
Nicole Silverio

Follow Nicole Silverio on Twitter @NicoleMSilverio