Rupert Murdoch Steps Down As Chairman Of Fox And News Corp

(Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Rupert Murdoch is stepping down as the head of Fox Corp. and News Corp., the companies announced Thursday morning.

Murdoch, 92, will officially be leaving the companies in November, and will then be appointed chairman emeritus of each, according to CNBC. Lachlan Murdoch, the eldest son of the media mogul, will retain his position as Fox Corp.’s executive chair and CEO and will assume the position of chairman at News Corp.

“For my entire professional life, I have been engaged daily with news and ideas, and that will not change,” Murdoch assured staff in a memo sent Thursday, CNN reported. “But the time is right for me to take on different roles, knowing that we have truly talented teams.”

“Our companies are in robust health, as am I,” he continued. “We have every reason to be optimistic about the coming years – I certainly am, and plan to be here to participate in them. But the battle for the freedom of speech and, ultimately, the freedom of thought, has never been more intense.”

Murdoch built his global media empire after starting a small newspaper business in Australia some 70 years ago, the New York Times noted. (RELATED: Report: Fox News Offered Megyn Kelly $100 Million To Stay At Network)

He went on to purchase Twentieth Century Fox in 1985 for $600 million before purchasing several American television stations the following year. Fox News launched in 1996 as a conservative competitor to CNN and went on to become the No. 1 news channel in the nation.