Rupert Murdoch steps down from Fox and News Corp
Rupert Murdoch: A leader of drive, audacity and deal-making skill
The stepping-down of Rupert Murdoch as executive chairman of Fox and News Corporation is a turning point in the career of the most successful businessman in Australian history and one of the most influential, enduring and path-breaking media leaders in the democratic world, reports The Australian’s Paul Kelly.
The transition is a historic moment not just for Fox and News Corporation but in a wider global media context since Murdoch has been a leader of drive, audacity and deal-making skill for seven decades. He has left a lasting imprint on the media industries of the main countries in which his corporations have operated, notably Australia, Britain and the US.
There was never any silver bullet to explain Murdoch’s success. It was a function of a creative mind, a tenacious spirit and a massive work ethic. Murdoch was a natural journalist, a reality all his editors quickly discovered, a business entrepreneur and a media magnate with a near unrivalled skill at paying for new assets and turning them into profitable and powerful concerns.
How Murdoch’s anti-elite crusade was forged in England
When Rupert Murdoch, the ultimate powerbroker and insider, used his retirement note to rail against “elites” and their “open contempt for those who are not members of their rarefied class”, it underlined a contradiction that has stalked him for more than half a century, reports Nine Publishing’s Hans van Leeuwen.
It was in England in the 1960s that the budding media mogul came to think of himself as an outsider – even as he took over a clutch of venerable English mastheads, a feat which papered the way for his rise to pre-eminent power and influence over the British establishment.
As a brash Australian arriving in the 1950s at Oxford – the university that was then still the British political elite’s finishing school and a custodian of the English class system – Murdoch was always going to be seen as an arriviste or parvenu.
Succession, Rupert-Style: What Wall Street makes of Murdoch’s retirement
Business leaders retiring from executive roles at the age of 92 don’t typically come as much of a surprise — unless the person stepping aside is a media mogul called Rupert Murdoch, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Georg Szalai.
After Fox Corp. and News Corp. said on Thursday that Murdoch would step aside as chairman of both his companies, effective as of the annual meetings for both firms in November, Wall Street analysts started dissecting the move, its timing and its impact. Son Lachlan Murdoch will keep leading both companies, which only fuels Succession-esque speculation about how the transition will truly play out.
“While Rupert Murdoch is a one-of-a-kind global visionary, Lachlan Murdoch has been running the company for the last five to 10 years,” Bank of America analyst Jessica Reif Ehrlich tells The Hollywood Reporter about the impact on Fox. “The company is uniquely positioned with a great balance sheet and very interesting set of assets. It is unlikely to change strategic direction in the foreseeable future.”
Rupert Murdoch’s succession drama reaches its finale
Four months after the finale of acclaimed TV series Succession, it seems the show’s real-life inspirations have reached the conclusion of their own succession drama, reports the BBC’s Ian Youngs.
When Succession writer Jesse Armstrong appeared at the Edinburgh TV Festival last month, he confirmed what most people already knew – the Murdoch dynasty was the original inspiration for his story of brutal power struggles and backstabbing within the family of a media mogul.
Armstrong said he changed his characters significantly and also drew on other major families like those headed by Sumner Redstone and Robert Maxwell.
But the fundamental similarities between the Succession characters and the Murdochs remain too tasty to dismiss.
Rupert Murdoch’s unclear succession plan created a family built on love, competition and shifting alliances
It was the middle of the night in 2018 when Rupert Murdoch fell over and triggered a succession drama. The 86-year-old media mogul was spending a blissful few days with his wife, supermodel Jerry Hall, cruising the Caribbean on board a yacht borrowed from his son Lachlan, reports the ABC’s Rebecca Armitage.
The 42-metre carbon globetrotter Sarissa was light and sleek enough to compete in regattas, but it also resembled a floating resort with a kiddie pool and rock climbing wall on board. While it would later be described to his senior management team as a “sailing accident”, in reality Murdoch had tripped on his way to the bathroom. The ageing billionaire was airlifted to a Los Angeles hospital for emergency surgery on a broken vertebrae in his back.
His wife Jerry called his four adult children with a plea: They must come to their father’s bedside and say their final goodbyes. Prudence, Lachlan, James and Elisabeth rushed to LA. But this was no ordinary farewell to a beloved patriarch. The boss of the multi-billion dollar media empire, sprawling several continents, had never chosen an heir.
Business of Media
Walter Isaacson’s ‘Elon Musk’ biography hits big in first week
Walter Isaacson’s highly anticipated biography of eccentric billionaire Elon Musk sold 92,560 copies in its first week on sale, a strong performance and a welcome start to the holiday season for booksellers, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg.
Sales of Elon Musk reflect print books sold through Sept. 16 in the U.S., not audiobooks or ebooks, book tracker Circana BookScan said Wednesday.
Those first-week sales place the Musk book second among leading business biographies and autobiographies after Isaacson’s Steve Jobs, according to Circana BookScan. Consumers bought 382,851 copies of the Apple co-founder’s biography during its first week of sales in 2011.
Silverchair Australian Story doco part one taken down from ABC iView due to ‘rights issue’
Australian Story has been forced to pull the first half of their Silverchair documentary with drummer Ben Gillies and Chris Joannou from ABC iView due to “rights issues,” reports News Corp’s Kathy McCabe.
A Silver Lining Pt 1, which featured the musicians telling their side of Silverchair’s wild rise and the boyhood friendship with Daniel Johns which forged the band, aired on Monday night.
An industry insider said Johns and his music industry veteran brother Heath, who oversees his business affairs, had given clearance on Silverchair tracks to be used on the “terrestrial” broadcast on ABC on Monday. But it is understood they would not extend the rights to the digital broadcast of the documentary. A Silver Lining drew 505,000 metro viewers on Monday with as many expected to watch via iView.
Content quotas won’t guarantee another Bluey, says Ten boss
Forcing Australian commercial TV networks to make more homegrown kids programming won’t deliver another Bluey, says the local head of Paramount, owner of Network 10, reports Nine Publishing’s Calum Jaspan.
“The global success of Bluey is not due to quotas, its due to the fact it’s a brilliant show that is consumed all over the world,” says Beverley McGarvey, chief content officer and co-vice president of Paramount Australia.
“A quota wouldn’t have got Bluey made or not made. We will always adhere to our quotas, but there’s not actually a problem, and Australian audiences and kids are incredibly well served.”