Rupert Murdoch pays tribute to his son Lachlan on News Corp and Fox

Rupert Murdoch called his son Lachlan a “principled leader” prepared to navigate a changing media landscape when the 52-year-old executive and dealmaker took the helm of News Corp on Wednesday.

Confirming a transition plan that was revealed in September, Rupert Murdoch, 92, moved into the new role of chairman emeritus during News Corp’s annual shareholder meeting.

He will assume the same role at Fox when its shareholders meet on Friday.

Meanwhile, Lachlan Murdoch has officially become sole chairman of News Corp and will become executive chairman and CEO of Fox.

“Lachlan is a principled leader and a believer in the social purpose of journalism. I look forward to continuing to play an active role in the company,” said Rupert Murdoch during the company’s annual shareholders meeting.

“There is no doubt that we should all be concerned about the suppression of debate by an intolerant elite who regard differing opinions as anathema,” Murdoch added.

“My life has certainly been fortunate. We are lucky 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 so much social good from humble beginnings,” he continued.

Rupert Murdoch, who took over as chairman emeritus of Fox and News Corp, paid tribute to his son, Lachlan, in his new role.
Rupert Murdoch called his son a “principled leader and a believer in the social purpose of journalism.”
Ben Hider/FOX © 2023 FOX MEDIA LLC

Murdoch cited his own father, Sir Keith Murdoch, a journalist who started the family’s media empire in Australia.

“Like my father, I believe that humanity has a ‘high destiny’ and Lachlan certainly shares that belief. That sense of destiny is not only a blessing but a responsibility,” he said.

The new features were first announced by the companies in late September.

Lachlan’s new roles were announced in late September.

News Corp. CEO Robert Thomson thanked Murdoch for his leadership and vision in growing the company and for his journalistic achievements.

“Thank you, Ruperto. And on behalf of all News Corp employees, I want to express our sincere gratitude for all you have achieved for News Corp, for journalism and for the societies in which we operate. As you indicated, the journey is far from over and there is much more productive work ahead,” Thomson said, before addressing the new president.

“And I welcome our chairman, Lachlan, a truly principled leader whose commitment to the company’s cause and social betterment is evident to all who have the privilege of working alongside him,” he concluded.

Lachlan Murdoch has officially taken the reins as sole chairman of News Corp and executive chairman and CEO of Fox.
Ben Hider/FOX © 2023 FOX MEDIA LLC
Murdoch said he hopes to continue playing an active role in the company.

Last month, News Corp said profit rose 1% to $2.5 billion in the first quarter, driven by growth in its book publishing and Dow Jones segments. Net income was $58 million, or 5 cents, compared with revenue of $66 million, or 7 cents per share.

At the meeting, Thomson highlighted how the revenue base has “fundamentally changed and expanded dramatically over the past 10 years.”

He highlighted how the company relied more on print advertising in its print publications, such as The New York Post and Wall Street Journal, and the company now has a more diverse revenue pool.

He said that “10 years ago, print advertising accounted for 39% of the company’s total revenue and that figure is now below 5% as we have seen a huge increase in high-margin recurring digital subscription revenue.” .

News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson thanked Rupert Murdoch and welcomed Lachlan as chairman, while touting the company’s results.
AFP via Getty Images
Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch, at the Australian American Association’s 75th anniversary dinner on Tuesday.
Ben Hider/FOX © 2023 FOX MEDIA LLC

During the year, the CEO added: “Dow Jones posted its highest profitability since we acquired the company, helped by impressive results in the professional information business. In fact, Dow Jones has doubled its profitability in the last four years and, for the first time, was the largest contributor to News Corp’s profits.

Meanwhile, The New York Post posted a “second straight year of strong profits, after decades of losses,” he said, adding that “the paper’s marked improvement in fortunes has been accompanied by growing influence in New York, Washington and much beyond.”

Elsewhere, Fox Corp. beat Wall Street expectations when it reported first-quarter earnings of $415 million in November on revenue of $3.21 billion; CEO Lachlan Murdoch attributed the results to an “active news cycle and strong sports programming.”

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