James Murdoch Resigns From Board of News Corp Over Editorial ‘Disagreements’

While his elder brother, Lachlan Murdoch, rises in the family business, James Murdoch has grown more distant from his father’s empire.

James Murdoch resigned on Friday from the board of News Corp, stepping aside from his final formal role within the media empire of his father, Rupert Murdoch.

“My resignation is due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the Company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions,” Mr. Murdoch, 47, wrote in his resignation letter, which News Corp disclosed in a filing shortly after the close of business on Friday.

News Corp is the newspaper arm of the Murdoch kingdom, publishing influential broadsheets like The Wall Street Journal as well as powerful tabloids, including The Sun of London and The New York Post. The company also oversees several papers in Britain and Australia.

Mr. Murdoch had already departed the Fox Corporation, the family’s television and entertainment arm that houses Fox News, after his family transferred many of its assets to The Walt Disney Company in a blockbuster sale that was completed last year. There were discussions about the possibility of Mr. Murdoch joining Disney, but those plans did not pan out.

Mr. Murdoch netted $2 billion from the Disney deal. Since then he has taken efforts to rebrand himself as an investor who is focused on environmental companies and causes. In his time working under his father, he championed sustainability projects at Sky, the European satellite giant that was formerly part of the Murdoch empire, and helped poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the National Geographic Society’s endowment fund.

As wildfires raged across Australia, the birthplace of Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch criticized how Murdoch publications covered climate change. Rupert Murdoch has described himself as a “climate skeptic,” while James has lately invested millions in companies that emphasize sustainability.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Murdoch declined to comment further on Friday about the reasons for his departure, saying the letter “speaks for itself.”

James Murdoch is the younger brother of Lachlan, the media executive who was named the head of Fox Corporation, which includes Fox News, Fox Business and the Fox television network, in 2018.

His father and brother, Lachlan Murdoch, co-chairman of News Corp, said in a joint statement on Friday: “We’re grateful to James for his many years of service to the company. We wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”

James Murdoch has often been a political outlier in his family. His father helped President Trump in his first campaign, and the prime time stars of Fox News have reliably championed his policies.

James and his wife, Kathryn Murdoch, recently contributed $615,000 each to support former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/31/business/media/james-murdoch-resigns-news-corp.html

News – James Murdoch Resigns From Board of News Corp Over Editorial ‘Disagreements’

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