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Media Mogul Rupert Murdoch, 84, to Step Down Finally

Rupert Murdoch (Photo: Eva Rinaldi)

News Corp and Twenty-First century Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch, 84, has decided to gracefully step down in favour of his son James Murdoch, according to CNBC based on sources close to the family.

However, James has already been groomed for the succession over a decade and it is not new keeping in view senior Murdoch’s age and decades-long struggle to keep the media empire aloft despite major setbacks in the mid-90s.

As of now, People who know James (born in London on 13 December 1972) reveal that he is more practical and less sentimental, though equally risk-taking like his father. It means, some old heads may roll down and new James-friendly people will ascend the ladder next year.

The report, however, had little impact on the market as shares of the Twenty First Century Fox went down slightly by 0.27% at US$32.89, and News Corp shares remained in tact around US$14.64 on Thursday morning.

Born Keith Rupert Murdoch on March 11, 1931 in Australia, he inherited Australia’s News Limited, from his father Sir Keith Arthur Murdoch in 1952. Later, he founded the global media holding company News Corporation, the world’s second-largest media conglomerate, and its successors News Corp and 21st Century Fox after splitting the news and entertainment operations of the conglomerate in June 2013.

James Murdoch

His modus operandi during the 1950s and ’60s had sent shockwaves across the conservative media industry as he acquired various newspapers in Australia and New Zealand, before foraying into the the Queen’s territory in UK in 1969, taking over the News of the World followed closely by The Sun. He bought the dwindling national brand The Times in 1981, his first British broadsheet.

He moved to New York in 1974 and became a naturalised US citizen in 1985 with an eye on US television properties. His News Corporation acquired Twentieth Century Fox (1985), HarperCollins (1989) and The Wall Street Journal (2007).

He formed the British broadcaster BSkyB in 1990, and during the 1990s expanded into Asia and Latim American television networks. By 2000, Murdoch’s News Corporation owned over 800 companies in more than 50 countries with a net worth of over $5 billion.

In his pursuit to own the media, he faced several investigations in UK over phone-tapping of celebrities and even faced the British parliament’s wrath. In the US too, he had enough face off with the national investigation agency FBI. He stepped down from News International on 21 July 2012.

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