He resigned from the Board of Directors of News Corp, the family’s publishing empire, and said he was leaving the company because of “disagreements about certain editorial content published by the news agencies” and “certain other strategic decisions”.
James Murdoch, whose older brother Lachlan Murdoch is the CEO of Fox Corporation, had already left this family-owned company, partly due to his disgust with Fox News.
But he had stayed on the board of News Corp – something that had intrigued family friends.
The younger Murdoch repeatedly clashed with the conservative political views of his father and brother, occasionally even in public. He donated to the democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and raged over the denialism of climate change.
By staying on News Corp̵
The move on Friday shows that he has given up this proposal.
News Corp. covers newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post. This includes the HarperCollins book publisher and a number of newspapers in the UK and Australia.
A spokesman for James Murdoch had no further comment and said that the letter speaks for itself.
In a joint statement, his father Rupert Murdoch and brother Lachlan said: “We thank James for his many years of service for the company. We wish him all the best for his future efforts.”
These further efforts could include additional investments in news startups and other media companies. In early 2019, he founded an investment company, Lupa Systems.
His departure from News Corp on Friday reflects his growing distance from the family business.
However, he remains connected to the family through the Murdoch Family Trust, which holds important voting rights in both companies.
Rupert Murdoch has four votes in the trust and his four adult children have the other four votes. What happens to companies in the event of Rupert’s death is a constant source of speculation in the media industry.
On Friday night, a source said the letter of resignation was not the result of an abrupt move in New York.
On the contrary, the source said tensions had been building for months.
For example, in January, James and his wife Kathryn criticized Murdoch Properties’ coverage of forest fires in Australia.
A spokesman at the time said that James and Kathryn had “well-established” views on climate change and “were particularly disappointed with the continued rejection among news agencies in Australia when there is clear evidence to the contrary.”