Rupert, James and Lachlan Murdoch Photo: Rupert Murdoch / tumblr
Rupert, James and Lachlan Murdoch Photo: Rupert Murdoch / tumblr

Rupert Murdoch to step down as CEO of Fox, say reports

RUPERT Murdoch is stepping down as CEO of 21st Century Fox, CNBC is reporting.

The 84-year old CEO and controlling shareholder of the media conglomerate will hand the title to his son James, CNBC said, citing sources close to the Murdoch family.

Murdoch is believed to continue in his role as the executive chairman of the company, while is son Lachlan will become executive co-chairman of the company.

This would mean James Murdoch will have a primary role running the company, while Lachlan takes on a 'broader strategic role'.

A Fox spokesperson confirmed that the matter of succession is on the board of director's agenda at its next regularly scheduled meeting but declined to comment further on the matter, CNBC said. A Newscorp spokeswoman in the UK did not immediately respond to The Independent's request for comment.

The Fox restructuring is rumoured to involved the stepping down of its chief operating officer, Chase Carey, who has been in his role since 2009. CNBC notes that this will leave the company without a senior manager outside the family.

Murdoch founded News Corporation in 1979 as a holding company, and used the name to buy up 20th Century Fox and launch the Fox television channel in the eighties. During this time he used the News International arm of the company to buy up UK newspapers including The Times, The Sun, and the now defunct News Of The World.

Murdoch has been described as 'the last media mogul' by the Economist. He counts the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and Sky Television among his brands.

But his grip on his media empire has appeared weaker in recent years. During the phone hacking scandal, Murdoch failed to give authoritative answers about how journalists he employed could have strayed so far from the law in tapping phones for stories.

The scandal also cost James Murdoch his job running BskyB, prompting his step forward as the COO of Fox.

Murdoch is not expected to sit back from the running of the Fox despite today's announcement.

"No one doubts that the elder Murdoch will still have the final say on whatever goes on at Fox," CNBC said.

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