HomeBusinessRupert Murdoch pays tribute to son Lachlan at News Corp and Fox
Rupert Murdoch pays tribute to son Lachlan at News Corp and Fox
November 15, 2023
Rupert Murdoch called his son Lachlan a “principled leader” poised to navigate a changing media landscape as the 52-year-old executive and dealmaker took the helm at News Corp on Wednesday.
Confirming a transition plan that was revealed in September, 92-year-old Rupert Murdoch moved to the new role of chairman emeritus during News Corp’s annual shareholder meeting.
He will assume the same position at Fox when their shareholders meet Friday.
Meanwhile, Lachlan Murdoch officially became sole chair of News Corp and will become the executive chair and chief executive of Fox.
“Lachlan is a principled leader, and a believer in the social purpose of journalism. I hope to continue an active role in the company,” Rupert Murdoch said 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 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,” he continued.
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 just a blessing but a responsibility,” he said.
The new roles were first announced by the companies in late September.
News Corp. CEO Robert Thomson thanked Murdoch for his leadership and vision for growing the company and for its journalistic achievements.
“Thank you, Rupert. And on behalf of all employees at News Corp, I want to express our sincere appreciation for all that 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 toil ahead,” Thomson said, before turning to the new chairman.
“And I welcome our Chair, Lachlan, a leader of genuine principle whose commitment to the cause of the company and to social improvement is patently obvious to all who have the privilege of working alongside him,” he concluded.
Last month, News Corp said earnings rose 1% to $2.5 billion in the first quarter, driven by growth in its book publishing and Dow Jones segments. Net income totlaed $58 million, or 5 cents compared with income of $66 million, or 7 cents a share.
At the meeting, Thomson touted how the revenue base has “changed fundamentally and expanded dramatically over the past 10 years.”
He highlighted how the business relied more heavily on print advertising across its print publications, such as The New York Post and Wall Street Journal, and now the business has a more diverse revenue pool.
He said “10 years ago, print-related advertising was 39% of the company’s total revenues and that figure is now below 5%, as we have seen a vast increase in high-margin recurring digital subscription revenues.”
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 past four years and, for the first time, was the highest contributor to profits across News Corp.”
Meanwhile, The New York Post recorded a “second successive year of strong profits, after decades of losses,” he said, adding that the “paper’s markedly improved fortunes have been accompanied by growing influence in New York, Washington and far beyond.”
Elsewhere, Fox Corp. outpaced Wall Street’s expectations when it reported first-quarter earnings of $415 million in November on revenue of $3.21 billion with CEO Lachlan Murdoch attributing the results to an “active news cycle and robust sports schedule.”