New FOX Corporation chairman Lachlan Murdoch congratulated his father Rupert Murdoch on Friday as the media icon officially became Chairman Emeritus of the company.
Rupert Murdoch, 92, will now be Chairman Emeritus of FOX Corporation. He assumed the same position at News Corp earlier this week, and Lachlan Murdoch is now the sole chairman of both companies. The succession plan was announced earlier this year, and the elder Murdoch noted he remained in good health when the news broke.
Lachlan Murdoch opened Friday’s annual shareholders meeting by congratulating his father’s transition to Chairman Emeritus of the “unique and strong company he has built over so many years.”
“On behalf of the FOX board of directors, the leadership team and all the shareholders that have benefited from your hard work, we thank you for your vision, your insatiable curiosity and the enduring legacy you leave to the companies you founded and the countless lives you have impacted,” he said. “I look forward to your continued counsel and contributions for years to come.”
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Earlier this week during the News Corp annual shareholders meeting, Rupert Murdoch said Lachlan had a similar sense of purpose as Sir Keith Murdoch, Rupert’s father and Lachlan’s grandfather, and the Australian media icon who launched the family’s global legacy.
“Like my father, I believe that humanity has a high destiny, and Lachlan certainly shares that belief,” Murdoch said. “That sense of destiny is not just a blessing but a responsibility.”
“My life has certainly been fortunate,” he added. “We are blessed to live in a country where dreams are not yet subject to regulation. There are so many inspiring stories around us of those who have created much social good from humble beginnings.”
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Rupert Murdoch’s vast media empire includes Fox News Channel, which launched in 1996 under News Corp and quickly established itself as a leader in 24-hour news coverage. It recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and has consistently dominated its competition in the ratings, becoming one of the most influential news sources in the world.
He was Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox from 2015 to the closing of the merger of 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company in March 2019. Murdoch served as CEO of 21st Century Fox from its inception as News Corporation in 1979 until 2015 and as its Chairman from 1991 to 2015.
Rupert Murdoch’s career took off in his mid-20s in 1954 when he took control of News Limited, a public corporation based in his home nation of Australia and previously run by his father. From there, his company bought and founded Australian newspapers and then looked internationally, gaining control of the U.K.’s News of the World and The Sun in 1969, and subsequently buying several U.S. publications, including the New York Post and The Village Voice.
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In 1980, News Corporation was established to consolidate the international operations of its growing roster of newspapers, magazines and television assets. By 1985, Murdoch took ownership of Twentieth Century Fox as well as some regional television stations in some major U.S. markets.
The FOX Broadcasting company was launched in 1986, and by 1996, FOX Sports was a smashing success and FOX Network had become the top-ranked television group in the country.
In 2019, led by Murdoch, FOX Corporation was launched as a standalone, publicly traded company following the separation of 21st Century Fox in a deal that yet again redefined the U.S. media landscape. As FOX Corporation, the company produces and distributes content through such brands as FOX News Media, FOX Sports, FOX Entertainment, FOX Television Stations and Tubi Media Group.
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At Friday’s meeting, Lachlan Murdoch said he was pleased to report the company started the new fiscal year from a position of financial strength and the “exceptional results” delivered from its various assets. He added the closely watched 2024 election would continue to drive viewership and revenue across its properties.
“We are grateful for your confidence, and we value your support,” he told shareholders.
He also praised FOX staff reporting from war zones around the earth, including in the Middle East during the “most challenging and heart-wrenching of circumstances,” and discussed the disturbing global rise of antisemitism and the importance of covering and countering it.
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