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Byron Shire
June 16, 2024

The Murdoch empire – out of the pot and into the other pot

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The biggest news in ‘news’ today is that the biggest news content creator will see its leader stand down after more than 70 years – it is expected that Lachlan Murdoch will step into his father’s shoes as head of the Murdoch media behemoth from November.

Rupert Murdoch, who began life in Melbourne, was the second child of Keith Murdoch who was a war correspondent and who later went into the media magnate business, setting the stage for his son to ascend to the position he is in today – the head of Fox Corp and News Corp which have an estimated worth of about US$26.5bn.

Reports say that the announcement will become official at the November shareholders meeting and that Rupert, who has been ‘engaged daily with news and ideas’, will still have a hand in what is published and broadcast by the companies. ‘The time is right for me to take on different roles’, he said.

Associate Professor Shane Homan, Head, School of Media, Film and Journalism at Monash University said no one approaches Rupert Murdoch’s level in terms of the scale and historical impact on the media industries. ‘He is the last of the great legacy media moguls, who took great delight in actively running his enterprises, with a fondness for newspapers and what they could do. In Australia, he has been courted by, and has in turn shaped, prime ministers and their agendas.

‘We can also say that Murdoch has been a decisive influence in ending “both sides-ism” of traditional journalistic practice. In establishing Fox News, he provided the template for a post-truth world where winning the debate must always triumph over the public good of informing societies.’

Associate Professor Homan said Murdoch has always been the master of the signature acquisition (for example, the Wall Street Journal). ‘With a new wave of management, it will be interesting to see if the current News Corp structures endure, especially in the ways that broadcasting subsidises some branches of his print empire.’

It is expected that Lachlan will take up where his father leaves off and anyone left of the far right will still have to run for cover.

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