Australian billionaire Rupert Murdoch, 92, will leave the presidencies of Fox Corporation, parent company of the favorite channel of the American conservatives Fox News, and News Corp, and pass the baton to his son Lachlan, the two companies announced in a statement Thursday.
This withdrawal will be effective at the next general meeting of shareholders of the two companies in mid-November. Murdoch would then become honorary chairman of both groups.
"Throughout my professional life, I have been confronted with news and ideas on a daily basis, and that will not change. But the time has come for me to take on different roles," he wrote in a letter to his colleagues, in which he said he was in good health.
'A lasting heritable'
"On behalf of the boards of FOX and News Corp, the management teams and all shareholders who have benefited from his hard work, I congratulate my father on his remarkable 70-year career," Lachlan Murdoch, 52, said in the statement, praising his "pioneering spirit, unwavering determination" and "enduring legacy" and relying on his "valuable advice."
The boss of the Fox empire, whose continuous news channel Fox News is central to conservatives, is retiring at a key moment, in the run-up to the 2024 US presidential election, for which Donald Trump is the favorite in the Republican primary.
The nonagenarian is retiring five months after Fox News had to agree to pay the staggering $787.5 million to electronic voting machine maker Dominion Voting Systems to avoid an embarrassing defamation lawsuit after the 2020 presidential election. In the aftermath, one of its star presenters, Tucker Carlson, left the network, which has since lost audience.
Last March, Murdoch announced that he had become engaged for the fifth time to a former San Francisco police chaplain, to Ann Lesley Smith, 66.