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Media mogul Rupert Murdoch steps down as chairman of Fox, News Corp

(Reuters) -Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, 92, has stepped down as the chairman of Fox Corp and News Corp, ending a more than seven-decade career in which he created an empire spanning from Australia to the United States.

His son, Lachlan Murdoch, will become the chairman of News Corp and continue as the chair and CEO of Fox, the companies said on Thursday.

The transition cements Lachlan’s role as the leader of the media empire, putting to rest questions of succession within the Murdoch family.

REACTION

ART HOGAN, CHIEF MARKET STRATEGIST AT B RILEY WEALTH IN BOSTON

“Murdoch who is 92, is stepping away after a tumultuous year at Fox’s TV network. While his decision comes as a bit of a surprise, there is certainly some logic to the decision.”

“Broadcast TV is in secular decline, and Fox has lost both on air talent and ratings. As one of his sons will be taking over the leadership role, we wouldn’t expect to see much of a reaction in the stock, which is unchanged on a year-to-date basis.”

THOMAS HAYES, CHAIRMAN AT HEDGE FUND GREAT HILL CAPITAL.

“Built an incredible company. Wise to step down at this stage and hand over to next generation.”

“He is 92 years old. It’s time. His legacy has been creating a counter-balance for traditional news media that allowed both sides of the debate to be heard. Lachlan has had his hands on the wheel for some time so this will be a seamless transition.”

MATTHEW TUTTLE, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER AT TUTTLE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT

“I think whenever you get to that age, that’s (health issues) always a possibility. You also want the right balance of giving it to the next generation at the right time.”

“(Murdoch’s legacy is) Huge, good and bad. I think he was the first to make news really entertaining, but his decision to move Fox to the right created MSNBC and politicized news forever.”

ADVISORY FIRM MADISON & WALL’S MEDIA ANALYST BRIAN WIESER

“Logically one would always have expected him to step aside at some point given his age, and the transition to Lachlan has been conveyed to the world for some time.”

“His legacy for the industry – and the world – it’s mixed.”

“Clearly he’s done a lot for journalism, and many of his enterprises still produce a lot of important news which helps keep the world informed in ways that might not have occurred were it not for his leadership.

“But it’s impossible to ignore the other side of that, where Fox News amplified toxicity in the US political environment, and other properties similarly impacted other territories.”

(Reporting by Samrhitha Arunasalam, Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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