He resigned from the board of directors of News Corp, the family of the publishing empire, and said he was leaving the company because of “disputes over certain editorial content that was published” by news agencies and “certain other strategic decisions”.
James Murdoch, whose older brother Ashlan Murdoch is CEO of Fox Corporation, has already left this side of the family business, partly due to his disgust at Fox News.
But he stayed on the board of News Corp – something that sparked the interest of family friends.
Murdoch the Younger repeatedly clashed with his conservative political father and brother, sometimes even in public places. Donate to the Democratic presidential candidate Pete Bottigues and anger over climate change denial.
One of the insiders said in an interview earlier this year that, by staying on the News Corp board, he was “testing the proposal for change from within.”
Friday’s move indicates he abandoned this suggestion.
News Corp’s umbrella includes papers such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post. It also includes the HarperCollins publishing house and a collection of newspapers in the United Kingdom and Australia.
James Murdoch’s spokesman had no further comment, saying the letter speaks for itself.
In a joint statement, his father Robert Murdoch and his brother Lachlan said: “We are grateful to James for many years of his service with the company. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”
These additional endeavors could include additional investments in emerging news companies and other media organizations. He launched an investment company, Lupa Systems, in early 2019.
His Friday resignation from News Corp represents his growing dimension of family businesses.
But he is still in touch with the family through the Murdoch Family Trust Fund, which owns major voting shares in both companies.
Robert Murdoch got four votes in the box, and his four adult children got the other four votes. What happens to companies in the event of Robert’s death is a constant source of speculation in the media industry.
Friday night, a source indicated that the resignation letter was not the result of any sudden action in New York.
On the contrary, the source said tensions had been escalating for months.
In January, for example, James and his wife Katherine joined criticism of Murdoch’s coverage of Australia’s wildfires.
A spokesperson at the time said that James and Catherine had “firm” views on climate change and were “particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among news agencies in Australia given clear evidence to the contrary.”