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Rupert Murdoch’s Impressive Legacy: Tracing the Rise and Evolution of a Media Powerhouse

Rupert Murdoch, the legendary media mogul, departs from the executive helm of his vast media holdings, leaving behind a remarkable legacy. Explore Murdoch's powerful influence on American politics, the epoch-making rise of Fox News, and speculations surrounding the landscape of the media empire post his departure

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Russell Weaver
Russell Weaver
Russell Weaver is a renowned writer, celebrated for his vibrant storytelling and intricate world-building. Beyond being an writer, he's an artist, dedicated to crafting stories that captivate, transform, and linger.
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Rupert Murdoch, a 92-year-old Australian media mogul renowned for his broad influence in American politics, recently announced an end to his tenure as head of both Fox’s parent company and News Corp, his extensive media portfolio.

Come November, during the board meetings, Murdoch will become Chairman Emeritus of both enterprises, facilitating a smooth transition of power to his son, Lachlan Murdoch.

Rupert Murdoch’s Legacy Cemented in News and Entertainment

Rupert Murdoch’s media endeavors extend far beyond Fox News. He is the originator of the Fox broadcast network – the first to mount a formidable challenge against ABC, CBS, and NBC’s Big Three. Shows like the globally acclaimed “The Simpsons” owe their broadcast existence to this pioneering network. Adding to his media monopoly, he is the proprietor of esteemed newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.

In 2019, Murdoch strategically trimmed his corporate pursuits by selling several entertainment assets – including film production entities, rights to Marvel Comics, National Geographic, and the FX cable network – to Walt Disney Co. Despite these divestments, he undisputedly retains a strong hold on media and American politics.

The Founding of a Media Powerhouse: Fox News Channel

Founded in 1996, the Fox News Channel has been a monumental force in the U.S. television and political landscape. In six short years, its 24-hour network managed to achieve higher ratings than established counterparts CNN and MSNBC. Rupert Murdoch’s creation of the Fox News Channel catapulted him into significant acclaim or contempt, depending on one’s political inclinations.

Recently, Fox faced considerable backlash following its coverage of unfounded allegations after the 2020 elections, resulting in a defamation lawsuit that cost the corporation a whopping $787 million. Compounding these issues was the firing of Tucker Carlson – arguably Fox News’s most popular face.

A Media Empire Braces for Change

Fox shares, although positive overall, experienced a dip at the start of 2022. Mounting lawsuits and viewer migration to smaller media outlets have contributed to investor unease. Despite stepping down, Murdoch promised his continued engagement with Fox in a letter addressed to employees.

“As I transition into new responsibilities, trust I will be actively participating in the contest of ideas,” Murdoch assured. “Our companies are communities, and I intend to engage actively in our community.”

The Future of Fox News Amidst Leadership Transition

It remains unclear what spurred Murdoch’s unexpected abdication. Fittingly, Author Michael Wolff, known for his works on Rupert Murdoch, is releasing his book “The End of Fox News” next week, fostering speculations about the network’s future sans its influential patriarch.

The Murdoch family – James, Lachlan, Elisabeth, and Prudence – have long been compared to the characters of HBO’s successful show “Succession.” Transitioning from a single newspaper in Adelaide, Australia, inherited from his father, Murdoch’s media empire now spans continents, with a net worth for the family estimated by Forbes to be approximately $19 billion in 2020.

A Final Note

Rupert Murdoch, pivotal in creating the mold of modern media, reshaped the UK’s traditional newspaper environment using a controversial trio of sex, scandal, and celebrity, while also invigorating television via satellite broadcaster, Sky. However, his influence began to wane following the exposure of unethical methods adopted by News of the World, which ultimately closed down, and Murdoch’s failed attempt to control Sky wholly.

Political figures in the United States and Britain have long sought Murdoch’s approval. His complex relationship with former president Donald Trump and the influence wielded by Fox News among Trump admirers is a testament to that. Though Murdoch’s reign officially ends, his presence in the media industry undoubtedly outlasts his title. It certainly leaves one wondering – what will become of this media empire once its patriarch is truly out of the picture?

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