Lachlan Murdoch's formal anointing as Rupert Murdoch's legacy this week had all the flavor of intrigue, setbacks, and secret fears that marked major changes in the fallen Sun King's court.
On Thursday, Lachlan announced that he would be chairman and chairman of 21st Century Fox, after most of his assets were sold to Walt Disney Co, was hardly unexpected, but it marked the day his father finally succeeded secured, which he always wanted.
Rupert Murdoch, now 87, remains co-chair of "New Fox," but it's Lachlan who determines the shots for Fox News, the television stations, and sports cable networks that will remain.
In the meantime, after the Disney deal, the current Fox CEO, James Murdoch, goes … well, nowhere. His exit from the family empire seems dead.
There are still many questions about the success of Disney's application for Fox, with Comcast's flagged rival money being a potential disruptor, but for the moment, there are three points.
First, Rupert's fall when he sailed on Lachlan's yacht in the Caribbean in early January seems to have been as bad as it was reported.
Four years earlier, Murdoch fell in his hotel room in San Francisco around Francisco, who was suffering from a hair root fracture that put him out of action for months – and the Murdochs had to face their secret fears of what would have happened if the fall had been fatal How would life be without Rupert?
In the Months Then Rupert started luring Lachlan back into the media empire he left so precipitously in July 2005.
Lachlan's price was simple: he wanted to become co-chairman of Fox and News Corporation. Rupert's recent fall underscored the need for succession plans.
Second, the intrigues at the court of Murdoch are as strong as ever.
Lachlan's first announcement was that Fox News Exec Suzanne Scott is the new cable channel CEO.
In a statement Lachlan said Scott "has now made history as [Fox’s] first female CEO."
The more interesting point was the man she replaced. Jack Abernethy, the former president of Fox News, retains the other half of his job and directs Fox's television broadcasting group.
When Lachlan celebrated his dramatic farewell to News Corp in 2005, he was frustrated that Abernethy, who told him he was head of television, was visiting Fox News boss Roger Ailes, who then asked Rupert to make Lachlan's decisions overturned.
Within days of James and Lachlan taking over Fox from Chase Carey in July 2016, Roger Ailes was on his way out.
In April 2017, James and Lachlan urged to choose a woman Fox News replaces Abernethy and Bill Shine, both longtime Ailes loyalists, who co-directed Fox News. Instead, Rupert went for Abernethy as the sole CEO.
Scott's appointment, which replaces Abernethy, is the surest sign that Lachlan is now in control – if you want to be cynical, even worse than dismissing someone, is to downgrade them.
Third, while Rupert is alive, the Murdochs are not likely to sell the $ 9.2 billion block of Disney stock they receive from Fox's sale. That would cost her billions of dollars in capital gains tax until Rupert's death, when the cost base goes down.
Bob Iger of Disney should better get used to having the Murdochs with 4.4 percent as his largest shareholder.
It also means that there will be no cash pool of stock sales to distribute to the family to facilitate a start-up effort for James Murdoch's proposed investment firm.
However, Rupert Murdoch is said to have lost $ 125 million has been invested in Theranos, the blood type that is now involved in fraud allegations. In fact, it is in line with Murdoch, who brings Sydney to the market for $ 12 million. It is not clear whether the cash from Theranos belonged to Murdoch or the trust of Cruden in Nevada, which holds the news and Fox shares of the family.
This highlights the power momentum of the Cruden Trust, which is controlled by four directors appointed by Rupert (all current or former Fox executives) and a director for each of his four adult children.
It all boils down to how Lachlan, James, Elisabeth Murdoch and Prudence MacLeod manage things. And here the situation seems to be as confused and unsolved as ever.
Like all dynasty stories, the public face of the Murdoch episode is nine parts soap opera. Is a story like this always over? There's always next season …